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Jordan warns of 'catastrophic' repercussions to Trump plan to move US embassy to Jerusalem
Posted Thu 5 Jan 2017 at 3:26pm
Donald Trump is seen as having much closer ties with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (R) than the current administration.(Twitter: Benjamin Netanyahu)
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Jordan's Government spokesman has warned of "catastrophic" repercussions if US President-elect Donald Trump makes good on a campaign promise to move the American Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem.
Key points:
US President-elect Donald Trump wants to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv
Jordan's Information Minister says the move could affect US-regional allies' relations
Jordan says a move would be a "gift to extremists"
Much of the world has not recognised Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem and most countries, including the US, maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial centre.
Last month, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said moving the embassy to Jerusalem was a "very big priority" for the President-elect.
Such a move could affect relations between the US and regional allies, including Jordan, Information Minister Mohammed Momani said, addressing the issue publicly for the first time.
An embassy move would be a "red line" for Jordan, would "inflame the Islamic and Arab streets" and serve as a "gift to extremists", he said.
He added Jordan would use all possible political and diplomatic means to try and prevent such a decision.
The US considers pro-Western Jordan as an important ally in a turbulent Middle East.
The Hashemite kingdom is a key member of a US-led military coalition against Islamic State extremists in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, and maintains discreet security ties with Israel.
Jordan also has a stake in Jerusalem, serving as custodian of Islam's third holiest shrine in the city's eastern sector.
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Many Israelis say Donald Trump is firmly on "their side", writes Sophie McNeill.
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Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and annexed it to its capital. The Palestinians want to establish the capital of a future state in the city's eastern sector.
Jerusalem looms large in rival Israeli and Palestinian national narratives, and disputes over holy sites there have sparked several rounds of deadly violence over the years.
Mr Trump's choice for US ambassador in Israel, David Friedman, said he looked forward to working from Jerusalem.
Mr Momani, the Jordanian minister, said moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem "will have catastrophic implications on several levels, including the regional situation".
In Australia, former prime minister Tony Abbott suggested following the US and moving Australia's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was not a move the Government was considering.
A move to Jerusalem would break decades of US precedent.(Reuters: Ammar Awad)
AP
Posted 5 Jan 2017
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ISRAEL​JORDAN​PALESTINIAN TERRITORY, OCCUPIEDUNITED STATESWORLD POLITICS​INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONSUNREST, CONFLICT AND WAR
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