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UAE univocal in denouncing Trump's Jerusalem move.

Summary: Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, also denounced Trump's decision on his Twitter handle and said the move is a "test" and an exploitation for "political gain."

Jasmine Al Kuttab

Federal National Council (FNC) members also shared their concern over Trump's latest announcement. (KT File)

The UAE Government officials have strongly condemned US President Donald Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Officials said Trump's latest move will spark outrage in the Arab region and will diminish any hope left for peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

"The ministry expresses deep concerns over the repercussions of this decision on the region's stability as it inflames the emotions of the Arab and Muslim people due to the status of Jerusalem in the conscience of Arabs and Muslims," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in a statement.

Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, also denounced Trump's decision on his Twitter handle and said the move is a "test" and an exploitation for "political gain."

"The Arab and Islamic world is facing a serious challenge in the plight of Al Quds," he said in his tweet.

"Will the crisis be exploited and politicised to achieve narrow goals and political gain? Or must we come together and confront this test?"

He urged leaders to work together to achieve peace, not "deepen the wounds."

Federal National Council (FNC) members also shared their concern over Trump's latest announcement.

"This decision by Trump and the US is unfortunate and this is not only unfair to the Palestinian people, but it is also unfair to all Muslims and the various religious sites that are embedded within the holy ancient city," FNC member Marwan bin Ghalita told Khaleej Times.

The ancient city is home to various significant religious sites, including Al Aqsa Mosque, which is the third holiest site in Islam, after the mosques of Al Haram in Makkah and Al Nabawi in Madinah.

While the 1993 Oslo Accord recognised Israel's right to exist in peace, there's no mention of giving up Jerusalem, and with Trump's decision, it is definitive.

The FNC member from Dubai pointed out that recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital will heavily affect the peace process and jeopardise all efforts exerted for decades to solve the Israel-Palestine issue.

"Today, Trump gave the Israelis more rights than the Palestinians and this cannot be tolerated, because the Palestinians deserve their rights.

"The US president is meant to make decisions that allow the Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace, but this move only contradicts this theory."

Ghalita stressed that the Palestinians are slowly losing all signs of human rights.

"These are the human rights of the Palestinians and Trump's latest stance goes against any peaceful movement.

"Trump brushed-off and went against the previous US leaders' decisions, when it comes to initiating peace between the two sides."

He said the sudden decision will not only effect the Palestinians, but also Muslims from around the world.

"This is an unfair and unjust decision for the Palestinians and this move is very disappointing, not only disappointing to the Gulf, but it is also disappointing to many Muslim countries around the world."

He thus called on the US to revise the decision, which he hopes will not lead to severe aggression and oppression.

Saeed Al Rumaithi, FNC member from Abu Dhabi, also denounced Trump's unexpected decision.

"The reactions we have seen in the UAE from Emiratis, expats and even on social media, reveal the level of shock from hearing this news."

"We believe this is unjust and unfair, and we deeply hope that this is not just a political game, which could cause greater consequences and friction."

Al Rumaithi urged the US that the decision to be carefully revised.

"I hope the decision will be carefully looked at in a fair and diplomatic manner - from a fair perspective, and through the cooperation between world leaders, the European Union, the United Nations and the rest of the world."

Hamad Al Rahoomi, another FNC member from Dubai, said Trump has gone against history, with his latest decision.

"Instead of calming the tension between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Trump only made a decision to increase the conflict.

"This decision will only outrage people further."

He said Jerusalem is a historical Arab city, however, Trump's move aims to rewrite history.

"From the reactions of people around the world, we can already see that this decision was not a positive one."

He pointed out that Trump's stance only serves the Israeli interests and the interests of the president to make history.

"This sends out a clear message that will not only receive backlash, but will slow down the peace process and increase tension."

The FNC member said the decision will thus affect people from all cultures, backgrounds and different faiths, as Jerusalem holds value for billions of people with different beliefs.

"Trump's move not only affects the Palestinians, but it even affects people from across the world, from all backgrounds and religions, because Jerusalem is the home to historical religious sites that are not only Islamic, but Christian and Jewish too.

"Who will now have the control over all these magnificent historical religious sites," he asked.

"Who will accept his historical and religious roots be in control by someone else?"

Al Rahoomi urged leaders to revise the decision, adding that the religious sites must be protected.

"All these sites have to be in control by a nation that accepts all faiths and treats all equally and fairly. So, how can we be ensured that these monuments are in safe hands?"

Al Rahoomi said that naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will thus worsen opportunities in negotiation for peace, and instead of taking steps forward, the US President's latest stunt took risky leaps backwards.

"We need this decision to be reconsidered through a truthful eye, and we hope this move will not lead to greater conflict."

jasmine@khaleejtimes.com

(with inputs from Sherouk Zakaria)

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Dec 8, 2017
Words:1018
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