King Mohammed VI, Chairman of Al Quds Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – a grouping that comprises 57 countries representing over one billion citizens, has voiced his “deep concern and that of Arab and Muslim countries” over the U.S. administration plan to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its embassy to this city.
In a message addressed to President Donald Trump, the Moroccan King stressed the importance of the city of Jerusalem, not only to the parties to the conflict, but also to the followers of the three revealed religions.
With its unique religious character, historical identity and special political symbolism, the city of Jerusalem “should remain a land as well as a symbol of coexistence and tolerance among all people”, said the royal message, recalling the great determination showed by Mr. Trump to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
But moving the US embassy to Jerusalem “would have a negative impact on prospects for achieving a just, comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, particularly as the United States of America is one of the main sponsors of the peace process – one that enjoys the trust of all parties”, underlined the Al Quds Committee chief.
According to international resolutions, including those of the Security Council, Jerusalem is at the heart of final status issues. Thus, “its legal status needs to be preserved and nothing should be undertaken that might affect its current political status”, insisted King Mohammed VI.
Furthermore, the Middle East region is embroiled in several serious crises, in addition to a series of tensions and many perils. It is therefore necessary “to avoid taking any measure which could fuel the feelings of injustice and frustration that extremism and terrorism feedon”, warned the King, saying the US move risks to undermine the fragile stability in the region or shatter hopes for meaningful negotiations to achieve the vision of the international community concerning a two-State solution.
“Morocco, which has invariably worked for the achievement of a just, comprehensive peace in the region, in accordance with the principles of legality and with the relevant international resolutions, firmly believes in your esteemed Administration’s far-sightedness as well as in your personal commitment to peace and stability in the region, and your resolve to facilitate the revival of the peace process and avoid any measure which might impede it or ruin it altogether”, said the royal message.
As a presidential candidate speaking to American supporters of Israel, Donald Trump vowed that, if elected, “We will move the American Embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”
In June, Trump signed the same waiver his three predecessors signed to keep the U.S. Embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv. But press reports last week said he planned to announce that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but take no action on moving the embassy.
According to press reports, Tuesday, President Trump has told the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the phone that he “intends to move” the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
However, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, told the Brookings Institution the president hasn’t decided on whether to recognize the capital or move the embassy.
Anyways, if the announcement is made that would amount to the deflagration of a new conflict between Palestinians and Israelis and would spark protests across the Middle East and the Islamic world.