US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital a 'Big Mistake': Palestine Ambassador

BLOKBERITA -- United States President Donald Trump's formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has sparked international condemnation, including from Indonesia.
Trump's announcement on Wednesday (06/11) marks the beginning of a process to relocate the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the contested Holy City, thus reversing decades of US foreign policy. While the move is expected to take years, the decision is seen as a derailment of the ongoing peace process between Israel and Palestine.
"Earlier this morning the president of the United States announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We condemn this recognition," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said during her speech at the 10th Bali Democracy Forum in Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday.
The Palestinian ambassador to Indonesia, Zuhair Alshun, told reporters in the sidelines of the event that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will convene an emergency summit to discuss the future of two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
"Trump, he committed a big mistake and it will not be accepted at all. This 1967 borders belong to the state of Palestine," Alshun said.
However, Trump is of the opinion that recognizing Jerusalem is a long overdue step to advance the peace process.
Retno, donning a scarf in the colors of the Palestinian flag during her speech, emphasized that the recognition violates existing United Nations Security Council resolutions.
"Indonesia will always stand with Palestine," she added. "As a democratic country, the United States should know what democracy means."
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967. It annexed the entire city in 1980 and claimed that Jerusalem was its "eternal and undivided" capital, a move that was never recognized by the international community.
While Trump emphasized that his decision should not be seen as the United States taking a position of any final status issues, there seems to be little assurance offered to the Palestinian side.
"We feel very sad, for such unfair [and] unjust [decision]. How come? Are we fighting with Israel or the United States?" Alshun said.
The Tunisian government meanwhile said it deplored Trump's decision and warned that it could create more instability in the region.
"Such a decision, we believe, will hamper the peace process and plunge the region into further turmoil and instability," Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said on the sidelines of the Bali Democracy Forum.
Din Syamsuddin, advisory board chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), issued a statement condemning Trump's decision and urged the US president to revoke his decision.
"This decision opens and proves the United States' double standard, which has not been a serious effort to justly resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Din said.
The US ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph Donovan, issued a statement on Thursday afternoon saying that the United States consulted with its partners and allies, including Indonesia, before reaching the decision.
"The United States remains committed to reach a peaceful and lasting agreement between Palestinians and Israelis, including the two-state solution, if agreed upon by both sides," the statement said.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Thursday that he would contact President Trump after the OIC emergency meeting, expected to take place in Istanbul on Dec. 13.
President Jokowi plans to attend the OIC emergency meeting. (gram/jktglobe)


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