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Trump's Jerusalem calls spark warnings from Arab leaders

From BBC - December 5, 2017

Arab leaders have warned US President Donald Trump that moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem could have dangerous repercussions.

Mr Trump phoned several regional leaders on Tuesday to tell them he intended to move it.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman told the US leader that any such move would provoke Muslims around the world.

The calls came amid speculation that Mr Trump could recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday.

He is scheduled to deliver remarks and White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said he was "pretty solid" in his thinking on the issue.

The city's fate is one of the thorniest issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

If Washington recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, it would be the first country to do so since the foundation of the state in 1948.

King Salman told Mr Trump that the relocation of the embassy or recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world", the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Meanwhile, US government employees and their families have been barred from personal travel in Jerusalem's Old City and the West Bank for security reasons ahead of planned protests.

In other reaction from leaders who spoke to Mr Trump:

Official statements from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan confirmed that Mr Abbas and King Abdullah were told of Mr Trump's intention to move the embassy, while the Saudi reports did not say so explicitly.

None of the leaders said if Mr Trump had specified when the embassy move would take place. He promised the move during his campaign for the presidency.

Israel has always regarded Jerusalem as its capital city, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Reports suggest Mr Trump will sign a waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for six more months, while committing to a move.

Israel preparing for violence

What is so contentious about Jerusalem's status?

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