Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

World Today

A view of Jerusalem’s old city is seen Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. U.S. officials have said that President Trump may recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this week as a way to offset his likely decision to delay his campaign promise of moving the U.S. Embassy there. Trump’s point-man on the Middle East, son-in-law Jared Kushner, later said the president hasn’t decided yet what steps to take. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Donald Trump is set to break with years of U.S. foreign policy precedent and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The U.S. president is expected to make the controversial announcement on Wednesday in Washington, and to also announce his decision to begin plans to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On Tuesday, several leaders across Europe and the Middle East warned the United States against any such action.

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg has more on the expected repercussions.

On Tuesday, the White House confirmed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – expected to be announced on Wednesday.

“He’s pretty solid in his thinking at this point,” White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

In a phone call earlier on Tuesday, an aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump informed Abbas of his intention to move the U.S. compound from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Abbas reportedly pushed back.

Trump also spoke by phone to Israel’s Prime Minister, Jordan’s King and Egypt’s President.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

“There is no deal in the century that starts with destroying the essence of the two-state solution and the possibility of peace between the two countries,” Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian Official said.

Palestinians are calling for three days of protests. On Tuesday, Abbas called an emergency meeting of his top advisers. One aide said if the move happens, the Palestinians may sever ties with the U.S. administration.

Israelis have been largely supportive of such a shift, but on Tuesday kept relatively quiet except to reiterate the official position.

Meanwhile, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt all warned of possible consequences, for the two-state solution and for the region.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the move would cross a ‘red line’ for Muslims: “Our struggle on this matter will continue with resolve. As a matter of fact this can go as far as breaking off our diplomatic relations with Israel.”

The French President Emmanuel Macron has appealed to the U.S. not to make the move. So, too, did Germany’s foreign minister.

The EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini appeared in Brussels alongside Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State. She said the final status of Jerusalem should be left to the negotiating table. He said nothing.

The White House said the decision by President Trump is simply an affirmation of reality. It also said any embassy move could take years. None of which, it said, changes U.S. policy on East Jerusalem, on the two-state solution and, ultimately, on any final borders between the Israelis and the Palestinians.