Cairo: The Arab League chief has called on the world to recognise the State of Palestine with occupied east Jerusalem as its capital in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the holy city as Israel’s capital.
Ahmad Abu Al Gaith, speaking yesterday at the start of an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, said Trump’s decision “condemned” the country that took it and the administration that passed it.
The decision, he said, raises a question mark over Washington’s role as a peace mediator, not just in the Middle East but in the entire world. “The decision amounts to the legalisation of occupation,” Abu Al Gaith said.
Earlier in the day, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Abbas will refuse to meet US Vice-President Mike Pence later this month, as protests gripped the occupied territories for a third straight day.
“There will be no meeting with the vice-president of America in Palestine,” Abbas’s diplomatic adviser Majdi Al Khaldi told AFP. “The United States has crossed all the red lines with the [occupied] Jerusalem decision,” he added.
Also, Egypt’s Coptic Pope of the Orthodox Church Tawadros II has cancelled a meeting with Pence. “In view of the US administration’s decision made at an improper time and without consideration to feelings of millions of Arab people, the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church apologises for not receiving Mr Mike Pence during his coming visit,” the church said. Pence is expected to visit Egypt on December 20 as part of a Middle East trip aimed at touting Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian death toll in Israeli attacks during clashes rose to four. — With inputs from Agencies