Wednesday December 6 2017

Morocco's king warns Trump against Jerusalem embassy move

US President Donald Trump pushes a shop

US President Donald Trump pushes a shopping cart as he tours the Church of Latter-Day Saints food distribution Centre at LDS welfare Square in Salt Lake Utah on Monday. AFP photo  

By Agencies

Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Tuesday warned US President Donald Trump against moving the American embassy to the contested holy city of Jerusalem.

Trump informed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas by phone of his intention to move the embassy from Tel Aviv, Abbas's office said Tuesday.

In an open letter to the American president, the Moroccan king expressed his "deep personal concern" and "the great concern felt by Arab and Muslim states and peoples" over moves to recognise the city as Israel's capital and transfer the US embassy there.

The monarch was writing as head of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Al-Quds Committee, which lobbies on issues related to the city, holy to three of the world's major religions.

"The current step is likely to negatively impact the prospects of a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," the letter said.

The king urged Trump to avoid anything that could "exacerbate feelings of frustration and disappointment, which are the basis of extremism and terrorism".

Trump is due to speak Wednesday on the status of Jerusalem, according to the White House.

Egypt's Sisi cautions

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, one of Donald Trump's closest allies in the Middle East, also urged the US president to be cautious, his office said Tuesday, after reports Washington was planning to move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

In a phone call, Sisi urged Trump "not to complicate the situation in the region by taking measures that jeopardise the chances of peace in the Middle East", the Egyptian leader's spokesman Bassem Radi said in a statement.

Sisi also confirmed "Egypt's consistent position on maintaining the legal status of Jerusalem within the framework of international standards and relevant United Nations resolutions", he said.

The international community considers east Jerusalem illegally occupied by Israel and most countries have their embassies in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

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