European Leaders Join Arabs and Muslims in Opposing U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem


Leaders of France and the European Union have joined with Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and the Arab League in expressing their opposition to reported plans of President Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

An official statement from the French government said that President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone with President Trump, noting his “concern” over the possibility that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

Mr. Macron said that the question of the status of Jerusalem “should be regulated within the framework of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly with a view to the establishment of two states living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as capital,” the statement said.

The two leaders “agreed to revisit the matter again soon,” the statement said.

For its part, the European Union (EU) warned of possibly “serious repercussions” if the United States were to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that since the beginning of the year, “the European Union has made clear its expectations that there be a reflection on the consequences that any decision or unilateral act regarding the status of Jerusalem could have.”

Such an act “could have serious repercussions on public opinion in large parts of the world, so the focus should remain on efforts to restart the peace process while avoiding any action that could undermine these efforts,” she said.

According to the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the U.S. embassy “should” be established in Jerusalem, but since that date U.S. presidents have signed a waiver every six months to keep the act from taking effect. The latest six-month period expired on Monday.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump indicated his intentions of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv if elected.

Meanwhile vocal opposition to the move from Arabs and Muslim has been building, with Turkey threatening to sever ties with Israel and Palestinians warning they would break off contact with their U.S. counterparts.

“The status of Jerusalem represents the red line for Muslims,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in reference to the proposed embassy move, suggesting a possible diplomatic break with Israel.

The Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul Gheit, has called the proposed measure “dangerous,” promising it would have repercussions not only on the Palestinian situation “but throughout the Arab and Islamic region.”

The White House has confirmed that Mr. Trump’s decision will be announced “in the coming days.”

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