US recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

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WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said from the White House.

“It’s the right thing to do.”

The declaration calls into question seven decades of deliberate diplomatic ambiguity about the final status of a holy city vociferously claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

Trump also kicked off the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, making good on a campaign promise dear to evangelical Christian and right-wing Jewish voters – as well as donors.

Trump’s predecessors – from Bill Clinton to George Bush – made similar promises on the campaign trail, but quickly reneged upon taking office, and the burden of war and peace.

This most unlikely of presidents, who came to office with no foreign policy experience and denouncing experts, was determined to show his arrival in Washington spells the end of business as usual.

“Many presidents have said they want to do something and they didn´t do it,” Trump said in the hours leading up to his historic address.

“Whether it’s courage or they changed their mind, I can´t tell you,” he said. “I think it´s long overdue.”

Meanwhile, opposing US President Trump’s plan to recognise Jerusa-lem as Israel´s capital, Pakistan has expressed its concern over the move.

Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said, “Islamabad opposes the US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel´s capital and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

The FO spokesman said this move by US would definitely undermine the efforts of enduring peace in the Middle East. “Any such move will be against international law and the resolutions of the UN’s security council.”

The leaders of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the European Union, France, Germany and Turkey have all also warned Trump against the move. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a summit of the main pan-Islamic body in Istanbul on December 13 to discuss the issue. –Agencies

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