World Asia, elsewhere criticise US decision on Jerusalem
COUNTRIES in Asia and elsewhere on Thursday criticised US President Donald Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with some countries like Malaysia urging Washington to reverse course.
In a sharply worded statement, Malaysia said the United States “must reconsider” its decision, saying the move would end “all efforts” made toward resolving the Palestinian question, “have grave repercussions” for the stability of the Middle East and “inflame sentiments, making efforts to combat terrorism all the more difficult.”
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, joined a chorus of criticism from other Muslim-majority nations, with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi saying Indonesians “condemn” the decision.
“Democracy means respecting the international law, (and) the recognition does not respect various UN Security Council resolutions,” Retno said at a democracy forum in the suburbs of Jakarta, while wearing a Palestinian scarf.
President Joko Widodo separately called on the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Countries to immediately convene sessions to address the US move.
Pakistan, too, condemned the US decision, urging Washington to “revisit” it as soon as possible to avoid “potentially grave repercussions in the region and beyond.”
Islamabad welcomes a Turkish call for a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul on December 13 to discuss the issue, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Singapore said in a statement that the city state “reaffirms its longstanding and consistent support for a twostate solution” to the Israeli-palestinian conflict, cautioning that “any premature and unilateral action to alter the status of Jerusalem will impede progress” toward a peaceful resolution of the problem.
Trump’s announcement on Wednesday broke long-standing US policy on the Middle East, and observers fear the decision could inflame regional tensions and jeopardise efforts to promote peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The president also directed the State Department to start the process of relocating the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in line with a campaign promise.
Australia expressed concern about increased tensions due to the US decision to relocate its embassy, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop telling local media that she is “concerned by any unilateral action by either side which could add to tensions,” according to the Associated Press.
Bishop said Australia has no intention of moving its embassy in Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, Japan, one of the major US allies in Asia, avoided taking a clear stance over Trump’s decision, with the government’s top spokesman saying Tokyo is “monitoring the situation with great interest.”
The issue of the status of Jerusalem “should be settled through UN Security Council resolutions, which have been adopted so far, and negotiations between the parties concerned,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference. – Kyodo