x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 December 2017

Saudi Arabia: Trump Jerusalem move marks 'drastic regression' of peace efforts

Riyadh said it hoped Washington would reverse its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy to the city from Tel Aviv

A Palestinian woman prays in front of the Dome of the Rock on the first Friday of Ramadan at Haram Al Sharif in Jerusalem's Old City on June 19, 2015. Ammar Awad / Reuters
A Palestinian woman prays in front of the Dome of the Rock on the first Friday of Ramadan at Haram Al Sharif in Jerusalem's Old City on June 19, 2015. Ammar Awad / Reuters

Saudi Arabia on Thursday expressed its "deep regret" at US president Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying the move represents "a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people" in the city.

Here is the statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, in full:

"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia followed, with great disappointment, the announcement made by the president of the United States Donald Trump, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating the United States's embassy to Jerusalem.

The government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia had previously warned of the serious consequences of such an irresponsible and unwarranted step. The kingdom expresses its denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step, as it represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, which have been affirmed by the relevant international resolutions and have been recognised and supported by the international community.

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Read more:

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Although this step does not change or infringe upon the inalienable and preserved rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, and other occupied territories, and even though it cannot impose a new reality upon those rights, it does however exemplify a drastic regression in the efforts to move the peace process forward, and is a shift away from the United States's historically impartial position with regard to the issue of Jerusalem, which will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia hopes that the US administration will reverse this action, and support the international will to enable the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights. Furthermore, the kingdom reaffirms the importance of finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative, so that the Palestinian people can regain their legitimate rights, which will strengthen security and stability in the region."