Abu Dhabi: Declaring occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will bring an end to the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis, and will kill any prospects of a future Palestinian state, Amr Mousa, former Arab League secretary-general, said on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi.
Mousa, who has also served as Egypt’s foreign minister, was speaking at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy.
“US President [Donald] Trump is now mulling whether to declare [occupied] Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. [Such a move] will be the end of the peace movement,” he said.
“Such a move will herald another age of chaos and conflict, and will represent a major diplomatic failure in the Middle East,” he added.
In his talk, Mousa said the Arab world was ready to make peace with Israel, highlighting the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, to which he said there had been no positive response from the Israeli side.
“Palestinians have a right to their own country, and this should form the basis of talks with Israel ... [Normalisation with Israel] cannot be for free, nor should it be for free, there must be clear steps towards building peace, and it cannot happen without the respect for the rights of the Palestinians,” he added.
“There is a clear Arab Initiative … which is a very balanced process that has a list of requirements, but this is not accepted by Israel,” he said.
Mousa also warned time was running out for a two-state solution, with the possibility of one, unified Israeli-Palestinian country being created instead.
“We keep mentioning [a Palestinian state] without establishing it, all the while Israel [does everything to ensure a Palestinian state] does not come into existence. [If we are continuing in this situation] then a decision must be made on whether we have a Palestinian state [alongside Israel], or a unified single country,” he said.
“If President Trump declares [occupied] Jerusalem the capital of Israel, this will be the end of a possible Palestinian state, because Palestine will not be a country without having East Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.