File – Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad Al-Malki
CAIRO – 1 January 2018: Palestinian Authorities decided to summon Palestinian Ambassador to the United States Husam Zomlot to hold discussions regarding the current political situation, according to Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki.
He added in statements that the authority’s decision came due to the latest escalations that took place at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 21 and the expected coming moves in this regard.
This move comes after United States President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by announcing the relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on December 6, 2017. Ambassador Zomlot is expected to resume his work in Washington after the official holidays, according to Malki's statements.
In a televised speech from the White House on December 6, Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, “Through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have refused to acknowledge Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Today, we acknowledge that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital. It is the right thing to do. It is something that has to be done.”
The decision, however, caused a wave of rage in the Middle East region, and the majority of world leaders refused to acknowledge Trump’s decision, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Britain, France, Canada, Morocco and Germany. “We refuse Trump’s decision. It is a unilateral and unfortunate decision which undermines the peace process,” most of the leaders unanimously agreed. Other statements even described the step as a “declaration of war” and “kiss of death”. Calls for protests and demonstrations went viral within the Arab world, something Trump expresses his expectation of.
On December 18 at the UNSC and on December 21 at the UNGA, several states voted against Trump’s decision. In response, the U.S. president threatened, in following statements, that he will cut aid to countries that voted against the United States’ decision regarding Jerusalem.