President Donald Trump’s fulfillment of his campaign promise to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital underlines the urgency of a new U.S.-led Middle East peace plan, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.
Mr. Johnson was speaking alongside U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.
“We’ll have to wait and see what the president says,” Mr. Johnson told reporters, just hours before Mr. Trump was due to publicly confirm that the U.S. will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and start local preparations for the current embassy to move from Tel Aviv.
“We would like to see as a result of this the Americans proposals on the Middle East peace process brought forward,” he added.
As Breitbart News reported, Mr. Trump took the first steps Tuesday towards moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, allowing the six-month waiver to the Jerusalem Embassy Act to expire. He then contacted leaders in the Middle East to indicate his intentions.
Mr. Trump spoke in separate calls with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, and His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
For his part, Mr. Johnson expressed British concern about the plan as he arrived for the NATO meeting.
“We view the reports that we have heard with concern, because we think that Jerusalem obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a negotiated settlement,” he said, before confirming Britain had “no plans” to move its own embassy.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, the reaction to Mr. Trump’s plan has been mixed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling a summit of the main pan-Islamic body in Istanbul on December 13 to discuss the move.
“In the face of developments that arouse sensitivity over the status of Jerusalem, Mr President is calling a leaders’ summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in order to display joint action among Islamic countries,” presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in Ankara.
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