Tillerson praises Trump `bold move’ on Jerusalem


WASHINGTON (AP) Developments on Wednesday, Dec. 6, about President Donald Trump’s decision on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (all times Eastern Standard Time).

  • 3:00 p.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said President Donald Trump made a “bold move” by implementing a U.S. law that has long called for the American Embassy in Israel to move to Jerusalem.

Tillerson was in Germany for a brief stop and made the comment as he met with U.S. military commanders. Earlier in the day, Trump said he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Tillerson said planning for a Jerusalem embassy will start immediately — and that included picking a site. But he said building the embassy would take time.

There’s opposition in the Arab world to Trump’s decision, and Tillerson said the State Department officials took necessary precautions to ensure the safety of U.S. personnel in the region.

  • 2:35 p.m.

Egypt denounced Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Egypt was the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel — that came in 1979.

A Foreign Ministry statement stated Trump’s decision was a violation of international resolutions on the city’s status.

The statement said Egypt was worried about the impact of the U.S. move on the stability of the region and about its “extremely negative” impact on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

  • 2:30 p.m.

The Palestinian leader said Trump destroyed his credibility as a Mideast peace broker after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Mahmoud Abbas said in a televised statement that Trump’s decision “is a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process.”

Trump’s Mideast peace team held months of meetings with Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab leaders for nearly a year ahead of an expected peace proposal.

By recognizing Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, Trump was seen by the Palestinians as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem — which Israel captured in 1967 — for their capital.

Abbas said the Palestinian leadership would meet in the coming days and consult with Arab leaders to formulate a response.

  • 2:15 p.m.

France’s leader said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “a regrettable decision that France does not approve.”

Emmanuel Macron said Trump’s decision “contravenes international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

Macron also said the status of Jerusalem “will have to be determined by Israelis and Palestinians in negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.”

  • 2:10 p.m.

An adviser to Abbas said Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem “isolated the U.S. from any role in the peace process.”

Nabil Shaath said the U.S president’s speech “gave Israel what it wants and gave us nothing.”

The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as their capital. It was captured by Israel in 1967.

Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while paying little recognition to the Palestinian claim to the eastern part of the city.

  • 2:00 p.m.

Hundreds of people in Turkey staged demonstrations near U.S. diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul.

The demonstrations came after Trump announced the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

And Turkey’s foreign minister has condemned what he says is an “irresponsible” decision by Trump.

  • 1:50 p.m.

Hamas accused Trump of disregarding Palestinian feelings with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinian people “know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries.”

He said the decision “will not change the facts of history and geography.”

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and other Western allies.

  • 1:45 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke out against what he said were “unilateral measures” that jeopardize the prospect for peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

He spoke after Trump’s announcement the United States now recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But the U.N. leader said the issue of Jerusalem must be resolved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Guterres told reporters “in this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B.”

The U.N. chief never mentioned Trump’s decision in his remarks.

Guterres said he’ll do “everything in my power” to promote the return to negotiations by Israeli and Palestinian leaders “and to realize this vision of a lasting peace for both people.”

  • 1:35 p.m.

Israel’s prime minister called it a “historic day” — following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was “profoundly grateful” and that Trump’s announcement was an “important step toward peace.”

The Israeli leader said his country “will continue to work with the president and his team to make that dream of peace come true.”

Trump pledged to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu urged other countries to follow suit.

  • 1:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump said he was directing the State Department to begin preparations to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump said the move would allow the department to begin hiring architects and making other plans. Trump said it was  “a recognition of reality.”

The move broke with decades of U.S. foreign policy. And the president defied warnings from global leaders that it would it more difficult to achieve a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

  • 1:25 p.m.

Trump tried to make the case that his decision about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “long overdue” and will advance the Mideast peace process.

Trump said he intended to do “everything” in his power “to help forge” a peace deal.

Trump also acknowledged “there will of course be disagree and dissident” over the moves, including relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv.

But he called for calm in response to his announcement.

  • 1:10 p.m.

The Jerusalem municipality illuminated the walls of the Old City red, white, and blue to show thanks to Trump’s recognition of it as Israel’s capital.

Mayor Nir Barkat said the main entrance to the city would also be lit in America’s colors and American flags will be flown across major streets of the city on Thursday.

Barkat said Trump’s announcement “sends a clear message to the entire world” that the United States stands with Israel and the Jewish people.