[WATCH] Malta PM denounces Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he fears that the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel could reignite tensions in the region and fuel extremism

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
7 December 2017, 12:07pm
Muscat said he feared Donald Trump's decision could fuel extremism
Muscat said he feared Donald Trump's decision could fuel extremism
Malta PM denounces Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Malta is strongly opposed to the US President’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, as this could fuel extremism in the region, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.

Muscat, who was addressing the media in Naxxar, said that President Donald Trump’s decision, announced yesterday, risked re-igniting tensions in the region and fuelling extremism.

Trump said he had directed the state department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a process that officials say will take at least three years - but insisted that the move would not derail his own administration’s bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Malta does not agree with the US president’s decision,” Muscat said, in reply to questions put to him by MaltaToday. “We believe any talks about Jerusalem should include all parties involved and we continue to believe that the two-state solution remains the current best option for the region.”

Muscat said that the Maltese government had informally informed US ambassador G. Kathleen Hill of its position.

“There is no two ways around this,” he said. “Malta is completely opposed to the US president’s decision.”

Malta Imam says decision unjust

The Imam of the Paola mosque, Mohammed Elsadi, has described a decision by the United States to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as an injustice the Palestinian people.

President Donald Trump has decreed that the USA will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“This is an injustice against the Palestinian people, the true original owner of the whole historic Palestine. It is an act of defiance against 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world who believe that Al Quds (Jersualem) is sacred as much as Mecca and against millions of Christians, Jews and other followers of faiths who do not recognize the illegal Zionist occupation,” Elsadi said.

The Imam said the decision went against all resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and dubbed it “another Balfour Declaration”, a reference to the 20th century declaration that gave Israeli settlers the right to take over land in Palestine.

“Certainly it will increase the instability in the Middle East and will embarrass the allies of the U.S. in the region. Such unjust attitude contradicts the values of freedom, democracy and the right of self-determination on which the U.S. was based.

“This wrong decision will invite more enemies for the U.S. administration and will harm the interests of the country. It is an act of political terrorism which is going to fuel more extremism and terrorism. It is really a precious gift to ISIS. I do not know how Trump will convince us to be his partners in fighting terrorism while he himself supports blindly the Zionist State terrorism.”

Elsadi said people of good will should reject this unjust attitude and support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

“President Trump should withdraw his unjust decision to make good for himself and his country. Whatever happens we will not despair because we believe in Allah’s justice which will eventually enforced by the continuous resistance of the Palestinian, Arab and the just people in the world against the Zionist occupation.”

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Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...