The embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Philippines on Friday conveyed its government’s disappointment over United States President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating the American embassy to that city.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, on the other hand, is mum about the issue, despite President Rodrigo Duterte previously expressing interest in moving the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from its current site in Tel Aviv.
Duterte had confirmed in May that he is visiting Israel, but did not set a timetable for the trip.
The Philippines joined the Czech Republic, which declared it has recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in considering a move of its embassies to the Holy City.
Saudi Arabia called on the American president to reverse his decision.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hopes that the US administration will reverse this action, and support the international will to enable the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights,” it said.
Saudi Arabia had previously warned of the “serious consequences” of such an “irresponsible and unwarranted step” by the Trump administration.
“The Kingdom expresses its denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step, as it represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, which have been affirmed by the relevant international resolutions and have been recognized and supported by the international community,” it said.
Saudi Arabia also stressed that such move can exemplify a “drastic regression” in the efforts to move the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians forward.
“The KSA stated that although this step does not change or infringe upon the inalienable and preserved rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, and other occupied territories, and even though it cannot impose a new reality upon those rights, it does however exemplify a drastic regression in the efforts to move the peace process forward, and is a shift away from the United States’ historically impartial position with regard to the issue of Jerusalem, which will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the KSA said.
The Kingdom said it “reaffirms the importance of finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative, so that the Palestinian people can regain their legitimate rights, which will strengthen security and stability in the region.”