The head of the Arab League on Saturday called U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital "dangerous and unacceptable" and described it as a "flagrant attack on a political solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.
The statement by Ahmed Abul Gheit, the regional bloc's secretary-general, came at the start of an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from 22 Arab states in Cairo, reported Al-Jazeera.
Abul Gheit said Trump's decision was "against international law and raises questions over American efforts to support peace" between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel.
The shift in U.S. policy "undermines Arab confidence" in the Trump administration and "amounts to the legalization" of the Israeli “occupation of Palestine”, he added, according to Al-Jazeera.
Abul Gheit also backed the PA’s position that eastern Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
"We call upon all countries that support peace to refuse the decision of the US president. We consider the decision unfair and unjust. We call upon everyone to recognize Palestine as a state and East Jerusalem as its capital," he was quoted as having said.
In the days before Trump’s announcement, Abul Gheit warned that a decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital would boost fanaticism and violence, and not serve the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"It is unfortunate that some are insisting on carrying out this step without any regard to the dangers it carries to the stability of the Middle East and the whole world," he told reporters in Cairo this past Sunday.
The PA official in charge of foreign affairs, Riyad al-Maliki, spoke to reporters ahead of Saturday’s meeting in Cairo and said Palestinians can no longer accept the U.S. as a broker in the peace process because it has now "positioned itself as a party in a dispute and not as a mediator".
Calling for a UN Security Council action against Trump's decision, al-Maliki added, "America is being an aggressor against the Palestinian people and against international law."