Pales­tini­ans seek Putin’s help

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - World News -

MOSCOW. - Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­mud Ab­bas has asked Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin to help stop the United States mov­ing its em­bassy to Jerusalem, a top Pales­tinian of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

Saeb Erekat said he had passed on the mes­sage from Ab­bas to Putin dur­ing a visit to Moscow dur­ing which he met Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov.

“The let­ter asks Pres­i­dent Putin to do what he can about the in­for­ma­tion we have that Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump will move the em­bassy to Jerusalem, which for us is a red line and dan­ger­ous,” Erekat said.

Yes­ter­day, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem used his ser­mon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque com­pound to say the em­bassy move would rep­re­sent an “as­sault” on Mus­lims across the globe.

Ac­cord­ing to Mo­ham­mad Sh­tayyeh, a se­nior Pales­tinian of­fi­cial and Fatah cen­tral com­mit­tee mem­ber, the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship has been in­formed by diplo­matic con­tacts that Trump could call for the move in his in­au­gu­ra­tion speech on Jan­uary 20. The Pales­tini­ans re­gard East Jerusalem as the cap­i­tal of their fu­ture state, while Is­rael pro­claims the en­tire city as its cap­i­tal.

The city’s sta­tus is one of the thorni­est is­sues of the decades-long Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict.

Is­rael oc­cu­pied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967. It later an­nexed East Jerusalem in a move never recog­nised by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. -

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