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Arab leaders ruin Trump's plan in Jerusalem



Trump spoke on Tuesday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah of Jordan, prompting statements from each leader's country opposing the plan, warning that it will undermine regional stability and the collapse of any hope for peace in the foreseeable future.

Trump also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long pressed for the embassy to move to Jerusalem.

The president is expected to make a public announcement on Wednesday declaring his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intention to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv, diplomatic officials and a person familiar with the plans they say to CNN. Trump is also expected to sign an exemption that delays the move of the embassy for six months, citing the logistical challenges of moving personnel from the US. UU

The measure is affecting allies in the United States because it violates international standards and has the potential to destabilize the region. Recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, it could reverse the efforts led by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to revive peace talks in the Middle East; could provoke regional protests that could put US military and diplomatic personnel at risk. UU and could deliver a propaganda weapon to militant groups and Iran, analysts say.

Trump is not expected to detail a timetable for relocating the embassy, ​​officials said, but will firmly commit to fulfilling his campaign pledge to relocate the facility.

Officials spoke anonymously to describe the plans before they are made public. They warned that administration officials were still deliberating on Trump's decision in Jerusalem at noon on Tuesday and that no decision was final until the president announced it.

Still, the reaction was quick, with Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar criticizing the early decision and urging the administration to reconsider.

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Palestinian leaders asked for three "days" of rage "in protest and the State Department issued a travel warning on the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem, restricting any personal travel of US personnel. UU and their families to those areas.

The foreign policy chief of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, used a press presentation with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to clear the EU's displeasure. Any action that could undermine an eventual peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians "must be avoided," Mogherini said.

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted in a telephone call with Trump the long-standing international position that the state of Jerusalem should be resolved through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, "and particularly those related to the establishment of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as their capital, "the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement. .

The administration itself prepared for the retreat. The State Department's security services were ordered to prepare for unrest in missions abroad, and the Pentagon relocated the troops who generally protect the embassies so they are closer to the countries where protests may erupt.

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the decision was the result of a "very reflexive inter-institutional process," but people familiar with the White House's deliberations portrayed it as driven by Trump's internal political concerns.

The President is increasingly concerned about losing his political base and insists that it should be seen as the fulfillment of campaign promises on Israel, part of an effort he has taken in recent weeks to galvanize conservative support, according to a person familiar with the deliberations of the White House.

The same source also stated that the President sees the problem of Jerusalem as a key to concerns among his main supporters that he is softening up in his campaign positions.

Asked if Trump has decided whether to move the embassy to Jerusalem, Sanders told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that "he is quite solid in his thinking at this time."

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Previous US presidents promised to move the embassy and put it aside because of the regional concerns and the disputed state of Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians, who claim the holy city as their capital.

According to the Law of the Embassy of Jerusalem of 1995, the embassy of the United States must move to Jerusalem or the Department of State faces the penalty of losing half of its funds allocated for the acquisition and maintenance of buildings in the Foreign. Every six months, however, presidents can sign an exemption to avoid these sanctions for reasons of national security.

The resistance of the allies supposedly provoked some debate within the White House on how to balance the measure with the recognition of the Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Meanwhile, the President's personal political concerns are unlikely to influence foreign allies that could be directly affected by the consequences of the decision.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the recognition of Jerusalem, in all or In part, it would be a "red line for Turkey" and could lead to Ankara severing diplomatic relations with Israel. 19659003] The Sisi of Egypt urged Trump not to make "decisions that undermine the opportunities for peace in the Middle East," the Foreign Ministry said. Qatar "completely rejected any measure calling for the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," its official news agency said.

Saudi Arabia warned that the announcement could "amplify the effects of the regional shock wave further complicating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the ongoing peace process, and provoking the feelings of the world Muslim community."

" I have not heard anyone express a single national security interest as to why now, "said Hussein Ibish, a scholar residing in the Arab Gulf Institute of States" It has not been done. Everyone knows why it has not been done. It's a bad idea and it's still a bad idea. "

And while Jerusalem functions as the de facto Israeli capital, David Makovsky, director of the Middle East Peace Process Project at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said an announcement would kill all possibilities of a peace agreement.

"There is historic justice in this, in that every president, democrat or republican, speaks in the Knesset," Makovsky said, referring to the Israeli parliament. "American businessmen regularly do business with Israelis in their capital, that is the reality since 1949, but if you say that you recognize an undivided capital, you have advanced the peace negotiations."

Shibley Telhami, a professor at the University of Maryland, said an ad would serve as propaganda material for extremists. "Play in the hands of all imaginable Islamic militant groups, play in the hands of Iran," said Telhami, making it difficult for Gulf countries sharing security objectives with Israel to cooperate openly. "It makes the situation of each of those governments more difficult, much less what makes US troops stationed in the region."

Michelle Kosinski, Elise Labott and Barbara Starr of CNN contributed to this report


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