U.S. administration’s decision to move U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem will undermine the United States’ major role in the mediation process between Palestinians and the occupying power, said the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS) Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Tuesday.
Delivering a speech to Permanent Representatives during a discussion session on developments affecting the status of Jerusalem and its legal and historical status on Tuesday, Aboul Gheit said that the decision will have negative consequences not only on Palestine, but also on the whole region.
He added that LAS has long praised the U.S. administration’s efforts to reach a political settlement between Palestinians and Israelis.
He further explained that Palestinian Authorities have been responsive to these efforts and have taken several steps to end the division but Israel has escalated in building the settlements, further aggravating the issue.
Aboul Gheit added that there will not be an impetus for the Palestinian Authorities to continue their policy and attempts to reach a solution if the U.S. transfers its embassy to Jerusalem or declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
“Moving any embassy especially the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will contribute in changing the legal and political status of the city as it hinders the anticipated settlement and questions Washington’s commitment for the two-State solution,” stated Aboul Gheit.
He noted that LAS has called upon the U.S. administration not to take any initiative that would change the legal and political status of Jerusalem or affect the final peace settlement.
“We wait for the U.S. administration to make the right decision that goes along with its role to host the peace process. I confirm that the league will follow up closely on the recent developments of the U.S. stance,” he concluded.
This meeting came on the sidelines of the conference “Extremism and its Negative Impact on the Arabic Cultural Heritage Future” organized by Al-Azhar and the League of the Arab States on Monday, during which they declared their rejection of transferring the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
During the conference’s opening session, Deputy of Al-Azhar Abbas Shouman criticized attempts to transfer the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem describing it as a useless step, stressing that Jerusalem will remain Arab and Palestinian due to its Islamic and religious heritage.
In addition, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted overwhelmingly on Monday in favor of two Egyptian draft resolutions submitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), declaring Israel’s actions in the Syrian Golan and East Jerusalem “null and void.”
The United Nations (UN) adopted on December 1, 2017, the draft resolution “Jerusalem” (UNSCR A/72/L.11), that banned any actions by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction or administration on Jerusalem, the UN website reported.
With 151 votes in favor, the GA issued UNSCR A/72/L.11; and six Member States rejected, namely Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, the United States and Israel.
“President Donald Trump will not announce a decision on Monday on whether he will again delay moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” a White House Spokesman said, despite Monday being the previously stated deadline.
An announcement on the decision will be made “in [the] coming days,” White House Spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One, as Trump was returning from a trip to Utah.