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Trump says US recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel, sparking protests

Tracy Wilkinson and Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

British Prime Minister Theresa May said early Wednesday she was trying to dissuade Trump.

"The status of Jerusalem should be determined as a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should be a shared capital," she said.

Russia recognized west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in April and called for east Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. On Wednesday, the Kremlin said it was "concerned" that Trump's move would aggravate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, a NATO ally with Washington, declared that Jerusalem was a "red line" for the Muslim world. He threatened to cut Ankara's diplomatic ties with Israel.

Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, warned U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the decision was a "grave mistake."

"It will not bring any stability (or) peace, but, rather, chaos and instability," he told reporters after meeting with Tillerson on the margins of a NATO summit in Brussels. "The whole world is against this."

Tillerson defended the move, speaking in Brussels ahead of Trump's announcement.

 

"The president is very committed to the Middle East peace process," Tillerson said. "He has a team he put into place. That team has been working very diligently. ... We continue to believe there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved."

Trump made his case forcefully at a National Security Council meeting last week at the White House, officials said. Vice President Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, argued for recognizing Jerusalem, while Tillerson was among those who spoke against it, according to a White House official.

(c)2017 Los Angeles Times

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