US Politics

Jordan warns 'dangerous consequences' if US recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital

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US President Donald Trump is still deciding whether to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital amid warnings it would damage Middle East peace efforts.

Jordan's foreign minister says he has warned US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of 'dangerous consequences' if it recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

US President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital or whether to proceed immediately in moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

Jordan's foreign minister Ayman Safadi said on Twitter he had warned Mr Tillerson the decision would trigger widespread anger across the Arab and Muslim world.

He also felt it would undermine the efforts to achieve peace.

In a tweet, Mr Safadi said: "Spoke with #US Secretary of State Tillerson on dangerous consequences of recognising Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Such a decision would trigger anger across #Arab #Muslim worlds, fuel tension & jeopardise peace efforts."

Mr Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Sunday the president continues to weigh his options ahead of an announcement on the matter that is expected this week.

"The president is going to make his decision," Mr Kushner said in a rare public appearance at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank.

"He is still looking at a lot of different facts."

Mr Kushner's comments were his first public remarks on his efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

And they came as he faces increasing scrutiny over actions taking during the transition period following former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea on charges of lying to the FBI.

Shortly before Mr Kushner spoke, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas warned US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would jeopardise the White House's Mideast peace efforts.

"Any American step related to the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, or moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, represents a threat to the future of the peace process and is unacceptable for the Palestinians, Arabs and internationally," Mr Abbas told a group of Arab lawmakers from Israel, according to the official Wafa news agency.

US officials said last week Mr Trump was poised to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a move that would up-end decades of US policy but also put off once again moving the embassy from Tel Aviv.

The officials said Mr Trump was expected to make his decision known in a speech on Wednesday.

The highly charged declaration risks inflaming tensions across the Middle East, and US embassies and consulates around the region have been warned to expect protests.

But it would also offset disappointment from Trump supporters from deferring once again his campaign promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Under US law signed by then-president Bill Clinton in 1995, the US must relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless the president waives the requirement on national security grounds, something required every six months.

If the waiver is not signed and the embassy does not move, the State Department would lose half its funding for its facilities and their security around the world.

Mr Trump is likely to issue a waiver on moving the embassy by Monday, the officials said, though they cautioned the president could always decide otherwise.

All presidents since Mr Clinton have issued the waiver, saying Jerusalem's status is a matter for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate.

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