Theresa May criticises Donald Trump’s “unhelpful” decision on Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Prime Minister Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has criticised President Donald Trump for jeopardising the “prospects of peace” in the Middle East” by recognising Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

Speaking at the White House this afternoon, President Trump said the world is no closer to a lasting peace agreement in the region – adding that recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is “in the best interests of the US and the pursuit of peace between Israel and Palestinians.”

But the British prime minister has criticised the controversial declaration as she reiterated the UK’s alleged support for “continued negotiations” between Israel and Palestine.

PM May said: “We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement.

“We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region. The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.”

“Our position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and long-standing: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”

The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted: “Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, including occupied Palestinian territory, is a reckless threat to peace. The British Government must condemn this dangerous act and work for a just and viable settlement of the conflict.”

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said President Trump has destroyed his credibility as Middle East peace broker, describing his decision as “a declaration of withdrawal from the role it (the US) has played in the peace process.”

But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country is “profoundly grateful” for President Trump’s announcement, which marks a “historic day” and an “important step towards peace.”

He said his country “will continue to work with the president and his team to make that dream of peace come true.”

Since the announcement, there have been protests in the West Bank, Gaza, Turkey and Jordan.

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