US embassy moved to Jerusalem won’t help peace, says Abbas

Rome, Jan 15 (IANS) The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday said that the President-elect Donald Trump’s proposal to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would hinder the Middle Eastern peace process.

President Abbas said during the inauguration of the Palestinian embassy in the State of Vatican City that Trump’s decision would not help peace, Efe news reports.

“If this is Trump’s decision, it won’t help peace and I hope it won’t happen,” Abbas told reporters gathered at the Holy See.

During the US presidential campaign, Trump had promised that if he won, the US would move its embassy to the Israeli capital, which has a disputed status since Israel occupied and illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967.

At present, there are no countries that have based their embassies in Jerusalem; most are in Tel Aviv or nearby cities.

Abbas added that, with the opening of the Palestinian embassy, “the Vatican has completely recognized the State of Palestine.”

He said he hoped other countries would follow the Vatican’s example.

–IANS

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