The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Palestinia­ns seek Putin’s help


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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