President Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The US president on Wednesday announced plans to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem.
The move, having been widely criticised, may have shattered the hope for peace in the Middle East region.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House.
“After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the announcement as “historic”.
He said: “This is a historic day. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. It’s been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years.
“It was here that our temples stood, our kings ruled, our prophets preached. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia.
“From every corner of the earth, our people yearned to return to Jerusalem, to touch its golden stones, to walk its hallowed streets.
“So it’s rare to be able to speak of new and genuine milestones in the glorious history of this city. Yet today’s pronouncement by @POTUS Trump is such an occasion.
“We’re profoundly grateful for the President for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the US embassy here.
“I call on all countries that seek peace to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move their embassies here.”
Arab and European leaders had heavily criticised the move to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital prior to Wednesday’s announcement by Trump.