A general view of the Arab League delegates meeting- Egypt December 5 -2017 REUTERS
CAIRO – 10 December 2017: In an emergency meeting held on Saturday to discuss the U.S.’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Arab foreign ministers called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to issue a resolution confirming that the U.S.’ decision contradicts international legitimate resolutions.
Arab foreign ministers unanimously rejected during the emergency meeting the U.S.’ decision, considering it invalid and in violation of international laws and UNSC’s resolutions.
They stressed their belief that the decision is illegal as it undermines the peace process, deepens tensions and elicits anger.
They called on the U.S. to cancel its decision and work with the international community to oblige Israel to end its occupation on Palestine through a peaceful solution that guarantees the establishment of its state with Jerusalem as its capital.
They urge the UNSC to issue a resolution confirming that the U.S.’ decision contradicts international legitimate resolutions.
On this regard, Arab foreign ministers agreed to convene an emergency Arab summit in Jordan and agreed also to maintain the Council of the Arab League as a permanent session to be held in order to evaluate the situation and to agree on future steps.
They called for upholding the relevant Security Council resolutions that reject any shift in the current legal status of Jerusalem.
In this context, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil urged that economic sanctions be considered to prevent the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Bassil said that actions must be taken against the U.S. decision “from diplomatic measures to political measures to economic and financial sanctions.”
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari called on taking unconventional decisions and not just data as this decision will lead to more tensions in the region and religious conflicts.
Egypt’s stance toward the decision
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital cast a shadow over the peace process in Palestine, describing the decision as a regrettable shift in American policy.
Shoukry stressed Egypt’s rejection of the American decision, pointing out that Israel's use of force to impose such decisions as a fait accompli in Jerusalem was illegal. He added that Trump’s move was unilateral and violated international law.
Shoukry noted that the U.S.’ decision is incompatible with Security Council resolutions’ 242 for 1967 and 252 for 1968 that have not recognized any measures taken by Israel to occupy other territories with military force.
Saudi Arabia’s call for U.S. to reverse its decision
Saudi Arabia expressed its total rejection of the U.S.’ policy toward Jerusalem. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia has warned that any U.S. declaration on Jerusalem would have a negative impact on peace negotiations, undermine the efforts exerted, and provoke Palestinians.
Al-Jubeir stressed that Jerusalem is one of the final solution issues that would be determined by negotiations held between parties and should not undergo one sided resolutions.
“The Arab initiative submitted by Saudi Arabia and endorsed by the 2002 Beirut Summit is a roadmap for resolving all crises,” al–Jubeir stated.
Palestine’s regret to U.S. policy
The Foreign Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Riyad al-Malki declared that Trump has violated international laws and U.S. guarantees, adding that by taking that decision the U.S. will drive itself from peace process negotiations.
He warned of the long term political and security consequences of Washington’s decision on Jerusalem that would give the Islamic State (IS) a chance to continue their terrorist efforts in the region and provoke a religious war.
“The U.S. administration is looking at the issue from a narrow angle and is dragging behind Israel,” he said.
He expressed his regret for the U.S. policy as there is no peace without Palestine and no Palestine without Jerusalem.
Jordan: No peace to be achieved without Jerusalem
In addition, Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman El Safdy said that peace will not be achieved between Israel and Palestine without Jerusalem; declaring Jordanian rejection of the U.S.’ decision.
“There is no stability or security in the region if not felt by Palestinians,” El Safdy warned.
He pointed out that harming the identity of Jerusalem and displacing its people is a crime that the international community should condemn.
“The American decision must be met by an effective and capable Arab action. We need to move with the international community to confirm the invalidity of the American decision.”
Aboul Gheit: U.S. decision null and void
During the meeting, Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that unilateral measures are null and void.
“The U.S. decision on Jerusalem is null and what is built on it is necessarily void,” Gheit added.
He added that according to international law Jerusalem is an occupied territory and Israel has no sovereignty over it.
“The American decision undermines Arab confidence in the American side and urges Arab countries to reconsider the course of the peace process and the current moment invites us to think about the alternatives available,” he added.