World leaders warned that US President Donald Trump may have doomed the peace process and called for calm in the wake of violent threats from the Arab world.
“The EU calls on all actors on the ground and in the wider region to show calm and restraint in order to prevent any escalation,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.
The EU is concerned about the “repercussions this may have on the prospect of peace,” she said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed concern in New York.
“I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” Guterres said.
“I understand the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people. It has been so for centuries and it will always be. In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B,” Guterres said.
At the Jerusalem Post
Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday in the country’s capital, UN Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said, “we all have to be very careful with the actions that we take.”
France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, also called the decision “regrettable” and said the status of Jerusalem was not for one country to decide, but a matter of international security, of consensus and of law.
The administration’s closest allies in the Arab world, on which it based its upcoming Mideast peace initiative, strongly condemned the move. Egypt said it refused to recognize it and warned of grave consequences. Turkey threatened to sever ties with Israel, and the State Department’s office for embassy security warned of planned protests in all of Turkey’s major cities.
From the Vatican, Pope Francis said, “I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
“Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the holy places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace,” he added.
British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke against the decision at the parliament, and Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked the move on Twitter as “a reckless threat to peace.”
The British prime minister characterized the move as “unhelpful” to the prospects for peace in the region.
“We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement,” May said. “The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.”
“We encourage the US administration to now bring forward detailed proposals for an Israel-Palestinian settlement,” she added. “To have the best chances of success, the peace process must be conducted in an atmosphere free from violence. We call on all parties to work together to maintain calm.”
US special envoy Jason Greenblatt, however, tweeted in support of Trump, stating: “No matter how certain parties react, we will continue to be hard at work putting together our peace plan to benefit all parties.”