Friday, January 20, 2017

Islamic countries condemn planned U.S. embassy move

Foreign ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday indirectly condemned plans by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to move the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reports The Associated Press.

A statement issued after a meeting in Kuala Lumpur did not specifically mention the United States or Trump by name, but said the OIC rejected any actions that could undermine the ability of Palestinian Arabs to claim part of Jerusalem in a future state.

It also called on governments to desist from any activities that might encourage Israel to "pursue its illegal occupation and annexation of ....east Jerusalem, including any such encouragement through the transfer of their diplomatic missions to the city."

The statement invited the OIC’s 57 member states "to take the necessary steps and measures" in response to any such hostile position, but did not elaborate.

Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thus recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a central campaign promise of Trump’s.

His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway indicated last month that moving the embassy to Jerusalem "is a very big priority” for Trump.

On Thursday, in an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, Trump stressed that he remains committed to moving the embassy. READ MORE