US President Donald Trump’s much-anticipated decision on the status of Jerusalem has sounded alarm bells in the Middle East and beyond.
Husam Zomlot, the top representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the US, has warned Washington not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which he said will have “catastrophic consequences” and prompt a “strategic and political” response from the PLO, according to Iran’s Press TV news agency.
“That would be actually the kiss of death to the two-state solution because Jerusalem is at the very heart of the two-state solution,” Zomlot was quoted as saying by Press TV.
He was echoed by Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, who said that Washington’s move with respect to the status of Jerusalem “would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region.”
READ MORE: Trump Has ‘No Appreciation’ of Impacts From Recognizing Jerusalem As Capital
French President Emmanuel Macron has, for his part, expressed concern over President Trump’s possible move related to Jerusalem’s status, according to a statement issued by the French government.
Macron also underscored that “the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and particularly those relating to the establishment of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as their capital.”
Earlier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cautioned that the White House’s decision on Jerusalem may hamper the peace process and is “unacceptable for Palestinians, Arabs and internationally.”
Late last week, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kusher said that the US President was allegedly close to a decision on the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
In November 1947, the UN approved a plan stipulating the partition British-controlled Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem being established as a “separated body” with a special political status. Despite international support for the two-state solution, hopes for its implementation were dashed during the 1947-48 Civil War and 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Russia, China, India, most of the countries of South America and all predominantly-Muslim nations recognize Palestinian statehood.
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to accord Palestine ‘Non-Member Observer State’ status, with only the US, Canada, Israel, the Czech Republic, Panama and four other countries voting against the move.
READ MORE: Palestine Envoy Warns US of Intifada if Trump Declares Jerusalem Israeli Capital
The PLO demands that Israel should withdraw from the Palestinian territories that it seized during the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel proclaimed its ownership over East Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was declared the unified capital of Israel in 1980 in a move that was never recognized by the majority of UN states and international organizations.