A top Jordanian government minister warned Thursday of “catastrophic” consequences if President-elect Donald Trump relocates the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the country’s capital in Jerusalem.
Moving the embassy to Jerusalem “will have catastrophic implications on several levels, including the regional situation,” Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Al Momani told the Associated Press, adding that other Middle Eastern countries would likely “think about different things and steps they should take in order to stop this from happening.”
“It will definitely affect the bilateral relationship between countries in the region, including Jordan, and the parties that will be related to such a decision,” he said.
The incoming Trump administration has said that moving the U.S. embassy “is a very big priority.” The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by Congress provides for the relocation of the embassy. But the law has never been implemented because Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have continuously exercised the provision of signing six-month waivers postponing the move due to “national security interests.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also warned Trump not to relocate the embassy, saying the move would essentially end the peace process.
“We call on you not to implement your statement…because we consider it as an aggressive statement, when you say you want to move the embassy to Jerusalem,” said Abbas.
The status of Jerusalem has been one of the core issues at play in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since its founding in 1948, Israel in 1967 extended sovereignty over eastern parts of the city—including the Temple Mount and Western Wall—following the Jewish state’s victory in the Six-Day War. The Palestinians, nonetheless, claim eastern Jerusalem as their future capital.