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Kuwait warns US on Jerusalem shift

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CAIRO, Dec 5, (Agencies): Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League Ambassador Ahmad Al-Bakr has warned of grave consequences if the US goes through with a plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel. In a speech during an emergency meeting of the Arab League on the level of permanent representatives, Al-Bakr, who heads the Kuwaiti delegation to the meeting, described the prospect as “worrying and a threat to the peace and security of the region.

The Palestinians retain a historic right of sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem,” the Kuwaiti envoy said. He underlined Kuwait’s support to the “Arab Peace Initiative”, which calls for a broad and comprehensive peace plan to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We deplore any practices or measures that tamper with the status quo in Jerusalem and urge the US to make a prudent decision on this issue,” Al- Bakr added.

The Arab League’s Secretary General Ahmad Abul-Gheit has called on the administration of US President Donald Trump to shun any practices that could alter the political or legal status of Jerusalem. Abul-Gheit made the remarks in a statement to an emergency meeting of the regional bloc on the level of permanent delegates, and underlined that the “fate of Jerusalem was near and dear to the hearts of all Arabs. We expect a sound decision by the Trump administration reflecting the US’s position as a superpower that fosters peace,” he said, adding that the Arab League “would keep following this issue.” The meeting comes amid trying times as the Trump administration is considering moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a move that would carry serious political implications and derail any possible Middle East peace plan, League chief added.

Abul-Gheit pointed out that if the Trump administration’s plan to shift the US embassy to Jerusalem comes to fruition, then that would “leave a glaring question mark over US commitment to the two-state solution.” He warned of “grave consequences” if the US goes ahead with the plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Saudi Arabia expressed on Tuesday concern over media reports regarding US administration intension to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of “Israel” and the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem city. Saudi Press Agency (SPA), quoted a source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing the Kingdom’s grave and deep concern over media reports that the US Administration intends to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.

The source added that the Kingdom views this step, if taken, to be in contradiction of principles regarding the final status negotiations, and contradicts international resolutions that emphasize the historical and firm rights of the Palestinian People regarding Jerusalem, which cannot be changed, nor can an attempt to impose a new reality upon it be made. The source noted, “this step, if taken, will constitute a fundamental change, and an unwarranted shift in the United States’ impartial position, at a time when the world looks to the United States of America to work on achieving the desired progress in the peace process,” the source said.

The source said that this step will have serious implications and will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli confl ict. The foreign ministry source noted, “it will also obstruct the ongoing efforts to revive the peace process.

This step will also provoke sentiments of Muslims throughout the world in light of the great importance and the pivotal status of Jerusalem,” the source said. The source also stressed importance that the US administration takes into consideration the grave and negative consequences of this step.

The Kingdom hopes that the US administration does not take such a step, in order to avoid compromising the ability of the United States to continue its efforts to achieve a just resolution for the Palestinian cause, in line with the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant International resolutions, the source added.

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Arab League Ministerial Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene extraordinary meetings if the United States decided late this week to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

The proposed meetings will affirm that the possible US decision contravenes with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions providing that the final status issues, including the holy city, should be resolved through Palestinian- Israeli talks, the Ministry said in a statement on Monday. These resolutions render null and void any unilateral measures relating the status of Jerusalem and the other occupied Palestinian territories, the statement reminded.

Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi has made extensive contacts with a number of Arab and foreign senior officials following reports that the US administration plans to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Al-Safadi discussed the issue yesterday by phone with Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Sabah, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Moroccan Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nasser Bourita and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari. He also contacted European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmad Abul Gheit and the OIC Secretary-General Dr. Youssef Al Othaimeen.

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