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Arabs push for global recognition of East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Staff Writer |
The foreign ministers of six Arab countries and the secretary general of the Arab League announced the launch of an initiative for greater international recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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Those officials gathered in Jordan’s capital to discuss the Arab response to the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcement that it would move its embassy in the Jewish state from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.

Guatemala later also announced its intention to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Attending the meeting were the foreign ministers of the Palestinian National Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Morocco, as well the Arab League’s secretary general, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

“We have agreed to launch a broad movement with the aim of obtaining a wider international political attitude in support of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said.

East Jerusalem, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, is seen by Palestinians as the capital of their future state.

The Jordanian minister added that efforts will also focus on ensuring that no other state makes the decision of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or moving its embassy there.

For his part, Aboul Gheit said that ministers had not decided whether to hold an emergency Arab summit, deferring the decision to a full Arab League ministerial meeting to be held before the end of this month.

Aboul Gheit described Saturday’s meeting as “extremely fruitful” and stressed that Arab countries had achieved diplomatic successes on the Jerusalem issue, such as the support of 14 members of the United Nations Security Council for a recent resolution seeking to rescind the US’ decision. The U.S. used its veto power to block the resolution.

In a vote of 128-9, the UN General Assembly also rejected the US’ Jerusalem decision.

Arab countries have been unanimous in their opposition to US President Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision that ended decades of international consensus that the city’s final status must be settled by negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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