Matthew Bryza comments on Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

  07 December 2017    Read: 547
Matthew Bryza comments on Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

"The likely near-term result of President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be the empowerment of extremists over moderate political leaders who favor peace", Matthew Bryza, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group told AzVision.az.

"This will end any modest progress that may have been emerging in the Middle East peace process, in which Saudi Arabia had been playing a quiet but helpful role in pressing Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas to be more constructive", he said.

"In the mid- to longer-term, however President Trump’s decision could be less damaging and maybe even helpful, provided he makes absolutely clear that the U.S.:

(1) Recognises only West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital;
(2) Expects East Jerusalem to become the capital of an eventual Palestinian state; and
(3) Maintains its position that Jerusalem’s final status, meaning whether it will be a divided or unified city, can only be determined through negotiations within the Middle East peace process.

I expect President Trump’s decision will damage official U.S. relations with all Muslim majority countries. The U.S. President has taken a decision on the one issue that unites nearly all Muslims, whether they are Sunnier Shia, Salafi or Sufi, Arab or Iranian or Turk. Moreover, this is not a popular decision in the United States, with initial polls indicating over 65% of Americans oppose this move", he concluded.

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