JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Israel's "irreplaceable" relationship with the United States in its first public statements after the White House said the embassy would move to Jerusalem, but did not address the transfer directly, and instead he emphasized the Iran threat.
Netanyahu praised Israel's growing relationship with the world while speaking at a diplomatic conference in Jerusalem, describing a "tsunami of diplomatic, economic, security and technology ties". However, he said that relations were being built with the Arab world but could not be fully realized until an agreement is reached on the Palestinian territories and call on nations around the world to do more to counter the expansion of the Palestinian territories. the Iranian influence.
A spokesman said he waited until after the official announcement to comment.
Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a speech later on Wednesday and order the relocation of the embassy there, according to senior advisers.
Although many Israeli politicians have publicly welcomed the measure, it has the potential to alter Israel's warming relations with Sunni Arab nations at a time when they share an interest in counteracting the perceived threat of Iranian expansion in the region. as spark protests and torpedo the nascent peace efforts of the White House. Palestinian officials have reacted angrily, while Trump's plans provoked grim warnings from Middle East nations that the move will be detrimental to the peace and stability of the region.
The measure will change decades of US policy, with the international consensus that the state of the city should be decided in a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.
Other members of Netanyahu's coalition government welcomed the movement at the event.
"Recognition by the United States and other countries will make it clear to the Palestinians that they must accept the existence of Israel and must conduct real peace negotiations with Israel," said Israel's Minister of Intelligence, Israel Katz. "We hope the international community will accept Trump's decision"
"Israel has a duty to express satisfaction and joy, and yes, this is their capital and they want this recognition," said Yossi Mekelberg, an expert in the Middle East in the United Kingdom. United. Based in Chatham House. "But they also know that it can cause some problems and create reactions, mostly negative." How negative? That is the question. "
While the Arab nations have expressed public discontent, they may decide that their shared interests with the United States and Israel are too strategically important to genuinely engage in. Still, the relocation of the embassy is not necessarily a priority for Israel, he said.
"You can not say no, obviously, but I sense that in a low voice some people are thinking, thank you, but no, thank you," said Mekelberg.
In an attempt to exert pressure against the measure, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for world leaders such as Pope Francis, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to one of his collaborators.
But it seems that Trump is fulfilling his campaign promise, regardless of the consequences regionals.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday that the United States plan to recognize Jerusalem as the Israel's capital is "illegal" and could bring "irreversible consequences" in the region.
Also on Wednesday, the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, criticized the decision on Twitter saying it was taken "out of desperation and weakness."
Before meeting on Wednesday with the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at NATO headquarters, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it would be a serious mistake to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Isarel and move the embassy.
"It will not bring stability or peace, but rather chaos and instability, "he said." Not only (in) the Muslim world. Everyone is reacting, and the whole world is against the possibility of this decision. "
Cavuslglu said that he had already told Tillerson this," and I will tell him again. "
Your comments came a day after the one in Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Jerusalem is a "red line" for the Muslim world and threatened to cut ties with Israel.
"Jerusalem is a very sensitive issue in the world of Islam, "Yildirim said at a press conference in the capital of South Korea, Seoul, state news agency Anadolu reported.
" The wrong steps in this direction would bring irreversible consequences, "he said, adding that such a measure it could "bring about a new conflict between religions."
The governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan issued statements on Tuesday warning of the consequences of the decision after their leaders spoke with Trump.  Erin Cunningham in Istanbul and Carol Morello in Brussels contributed to this report.