The European Union expressed serious concern on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying it could have repercussions for peace prospects.
“The aspirations of both parties must be fulfilled and a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states,” EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and saying Washington would begin the process of moving its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
French President Emmanuel Macron branded Trump’s stance as “regrettable” and called for efforts to “avoid violence at all costs”.
Macron affirmed “the attachment of France and Europe to the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within internationally recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said through her spokesman that she “does not support” Trump’s reversal of decades of US policy.
“The status of Jerusalem can only be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution,” spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres implicitly criticised Trump’s announcement, warning that Jerusalem’s status must be resolved through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
“From day one as secretary general of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” Guterres said.
Hamas said Trump’s decision would “open the gates of hell” on US interests in the region.
“This decision will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region,” Ismail Radwan, an official with the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, told journalists.
Iran condemned the US move, saying it threatened a “new intifada”, or uprising, against Israel.
“The provocative and unwise decision by the US… will provoke Muslims and inflame a new intifada and an escalation of radical, angry and violent behaviour,” the foreign ministry said on its website.