Arab League hopes Trump changes mind about embassy move

Arab League official says he hopes Trump will retract his campaign pledge to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Elad Benari ,

Current location of the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv
Current location of the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv
Flash 90

An Arab League official said on Sunday that the organization hopes U.S. President Donald Trump will retract his campaign pledge to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"The position expressed by President Trump while campaigning needs to be more cautious," Assistant Secretary General for Palestinian Affairs Said Abu Ali told reporters in Cairo, according to AFP.

We look to the new U.S. administration to reconsider its position so it can better act as an objective sponsor of the peace process," he added.

"Transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem would be aggression against the rights of the Palestinian people in their eternal capital east Jerusalem," Abu Ali continued.

He said it would violate UN Security Council resolutions and be "a retreat from the historical American position" on the city's status.

Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, was a central campaign promise of Trump’s.

Last week, however, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that no decision has been made yet on the move.

The planned move of the embassy has angered the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose officials want eastern Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state.

Last week, a coalition of PA organizations including Hamas, Fatah, and the Islamic Jihad, issued a statement warning against the embassy move, saying it would "ignite a fire in the region".

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently promised a “political and diplomatic response” if Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem. He did not elaborate.

Previously, Abbas wrote Trump a letter in which he warned him against moving the American embassy, saying that such a move would be crossing a "red line" and could jeopardize peace prospects.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged Trump to keep his campaign pledge.

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital and it would be good if the American embassy wasn't the only one to move here... I think that with time the majority of embassies will move to Jerusalem," he said.



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