US Embassy’s Move in Israel Draws Criticism from Around the World

Many of the United States’ allies, along with its foes, expressed criticism of the U.S. decision to open its embassy in Jerusalem Monday, saying it would increase tensions in the Middle East.

 

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “We disagree with the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital” before a final peace agreement is reached in the Middle East.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Monday’s violence in Gaza, where Israeli soldiers killed more than 50 Palestinian civilians in clashes at the border. Macron said he had “warned repeatedly of the repercussions” of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

 

In a statement, Macron’s office said he talked with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday and is planning to talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeated Moscow’s objection to the U.S. move. “We firmly believe that it is inappropriate to unilaterally revise the decisions of the international community in this way,” he said.

 

Many Arab leaders also condemned the move, with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri calling it “provocative,” and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif describing it as “a day of great shame.”

Saudi Arabia condemned the Israeli gunfire against Palestinians in Gaza but did not mention the opening of the U.S. Embassy.

 

“Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces’ gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians, which has left dozens of dead and wounded,” a Saudi foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to London that the embassy move was “very, very unfortunate” and said it disqualified the United States from being a mediator in the Middle East peace process.

 

Turkey’s government said was recalling its ambassador to the United States “for consultations” over the U.S. Embassy move. It also recalled its ambassador to Israel following what it called a “massacre” of Palestinians on the Gaza border.

Turkey also has called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s largest body of Muslim-majority nations. Erdogan wants the meeting to be held Friday. In response to the thousands of people who took to the streets of Istanbul Monday, Erdogan promised to hold a pro-Palestinian rally on Friday after the OIC meeting. 

 

Kuwait also condemned the violence in Gaza and requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council for Tuesday.

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