Heads of state and leaders around the world voiced their disapproval and concerns following President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the new capital of Israel and move the American embassy there in the near future.
Shortly after Trump’s speech, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced “the State Department will immediately begin the process to implement this decision by starting the preparations to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that, in making the move, Trump “chose to violate all international resolutions and bilateral agreements, preferring to ignore and contradict the international consensus expressed by various countries and world leaders and the positions of spiritual leaders and regional organizations.”
He added that the declaration is a “deliberate undermining of all efforts to achieve peace” and that he will work with world leaders to prevent relocation of the embassy.
The patriarchs and bishops of Christian churches in Jerusalem wrote a letter to Trump Wednesday, pleading with him not to reverse the long-standing policy of keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv. The letter states this change will lead to “increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah II joined the chorus of opposition, stressing the Holy City of Jerusalem is vital to stability in the region, CNN reported.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concurred: He declared Trump’s decision “will deepen the region’s problems” with its change.
However, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump in a video on Twitter shortly after the announcement.
“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,” Netanyahu said. “It’s been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years.”