The UK disagrees with US President Donald Trump’s “unhelpful” decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel, says British Prime Minister Theresa May.
In a statement issued on Wednesday night, May said Trump’s declaration earlier in the day jeopardized the “prospects of peace” in the Middle East.
“We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem [al-Quds] and recognize Jerusalem [al-Quds] as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement,” May said in a statement.
“Our position on the status of Jerusalem [al-Quds] is clear and long-standing: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem [al-Quds] should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states,” May added.
The British leader said London had “no plans to move” its own embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
Earlier, she said there a sovereign and viable Palestinian state was a pre-requisite to any two-state solution.
Before Trump’s announcement, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also voiced “concern” over the decision, making it clear that London had no intention of following Trump’s lead.
“We have no plans ourselves to move our embassy,” he told reporters ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels.
World leaders have warned Trump that recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital could spark further tensions in the region.
In his statement, the Republican president admitted that “there will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement,” but “we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and cooperation.”
Israel lays claim to the entirety of Jerusalem al-Quds as its “capital” while Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of a future state for themselves.
Palestinian people have vowed to hold three days of protests, with resistance leaders warning that the decision is likely to ignite another Intifada anti-occupation movement.
May’s comments in rejecting Trump follows a rift between the two leaders, which was sparked by Trump’s retweeting of a series of anti-Muslim videos from far-right British leader Jayda Fransen.