Abbas tells Trump to not relocate US embassy to Jerusalem

Abbas and and a number of his advisors have warned that moving the embassy would lead to instability and insecurity.

January 9, 2017 18:15
2 minute read.
American embassy Israel

The US embassy in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump asking him not to relocate his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem when he assumes office.

“The president asked the American president-elect to not take this step [moving the embassy], as it will have destructive consequences on the peace process, the two state solution and the safety and security of the region,” Wafa, the official PA news site, reported on Monday, paraphrasing Abbas’s letter. Wafa did not indicate exactly when the letter was sent to Trump.

Abbas also sent letters to other world leaders, including the Russian president, the French president, the Chinese premier, the German chancellor, the UK prime minister, the EU commissioner and the Arab-League secretary-general, calling on them to “undertake all efforts possible to prevent the transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem.”

Since Trump’s election in early November, the president- elect’s advisers have said the incoming US administration intends to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The letter follows a warning from Abbas and a number of his advisers on Friday that moving the embassy would lead to instability and insecurity.
John Kerry warns US against moving embassy to Jerusalem

“We heard a lot of statements relating to moving the US Embassy, which we hope are not true and will not be implemented, but if implemented, then the peace process in the Middle East, and even peace in the world, will be sent into an inescapable crisis,” Abbas said in Bethlehem on Friday.

Mahmoud Habash, Abbas’s adviser on religious affairs, cautioned on Friday that moving the embassy would be tantamount to “a declaration of war on Muslims.”

“Everything can collapse if the embassy is moved to Jerusalem,” said Habash, who also serves as the PA’s supreme Sharia judge. “It could leave a door wide open to possibilities that no one wants.”

Many Israeli ministers have encouraged Trump to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of reporters on a state visit to Azerbaijan in mid-December that Trump’s plan to relocate the embassy is “great.”

A number of international parties have come out in opposition to relocating the embassy, saying it would lead to unrest.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS in an interview on Friday that relocating the embassy would cause “an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps [not] even [just] in Israel itself, but throughout the region.”

Jordanian government spokesman Muhammad al-Momani told the Associated Press on Friday that moving the embassy would have catastrophic repercussions.

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