Saudi Arabia has issued a formal condemnation of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and announcement of plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to ‘the holy city’ claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis. The Saudi statement was posted to its D.C. embassy website and circulated via diplomatic channels and the kingdom’s social media accounts Wednesday evening.
The kingdom’s condemnation invokes “serious consequences of such an irresponsible and unwarranted step” while expressing its “denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step” while calling on the White House to “reverse this action” which constitutes “a drastic regression in the efforts to move the peace process forward.”
Protests in Gaza from earlier this year. Image source: Reuters via NY Daily News
As expected Trump has already received an immense amount of international push back from world leaders, including major US allies. Among the countries and international bodies which immediately condemned the move are the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Russia, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, as well as the European Union, Arab League, and others.
The Jerusalem recognition came during a televised address from the White House shortly after 1pm on Wednesday and set an already volatile Middle East situation on edge. Travel warnings for US citizens were sent out via US embassies throughout the Middle East and the American embassy in Amman, Jordan suspended all services as protests erupted outside the embassy gates.
That was quick. US embassy in #Jordan suspends all its services following the first demo in the Arab world in Amman against #Trump recognizing #Jerusalem as #Israel’s capital, breaking with decades of precedent, upending longtime U.S. policyhttps://t.co/Yc1l5Vvadf https://t.co/Wu4itjunYw
— SaadAbedine (@SaadAbedine) December 6, 2017
.@statedept issues new “worldwide caution” for #US travelers overseas after Trump announcement on #Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/JwuqJyiRaM
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) December 7, 2017
And as we previously reported, Trump made another – and unexpected – announcement two hours after the controversial Jerusalem announcement: the president called on Saudi leadership to immediately completely lift the years long Saudi military blockade on war-torn Yemen while highlighting the humanitarian catastrophe currently unfolding, saying “This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately.”
Many analysts saw the announcement as a tit-for-tat statement concerning the Jerusalem move: the Saudis were angry and were expected to …read more