Donald Trump is expected to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital today, a move which would upend decades of US policy and risk potentially violent protests.

Despite warnings from Arab, Muslim and Western allies, the US President will instruct the State Department to begin the process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

The United States has never endorsed the Israel’s claim of sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem and has insisted its status be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiation. 

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The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, did not comment on the planned US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during his first public remarks since the White House confirmed the new policy.

Turkey’s foreign minister has said it would be a “grave mistake” for the US to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
 
Metluv Cavusoglu said: “It would be a grave mistake [to move the US embassy]. It will not bring any stability… but rather chaos and instability.”
 
“The whole world is against this,” he said, adding he had already told the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, how he felt and would reiterate during Nato’s foreign ministers’ meeting.
The Turkish government’s spokesman has said the United States’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will plunge the region and the world into “a fire with no end in sight”.
“Declaring Jerusalem a capital is disregarding history and the truths in the region, it is a big injustice/cruelty, shortsightedness, foolishness/madness, it is plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Twitter.
“I call on everyone to act logically, respect the agreements they signed and behave reasonably, avoid risking world peace for domestic politics or other reasons,” he said.
Pope Francis, speaking to Palestinians ahead of Mr Trump’s expected announcement, said “recognising the rights of all people” in the Holy Land is a primary condition for dialogue.
The pope, who spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the crisis on Tuesday, made his comments to a group of visiting Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican.
“The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind,” he said.
He spoke of dialogue between religions “and also in civil society”.
“The primary condition of that dialogue is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognising the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has said Britain has no plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The US intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem is a sign of its incompetence and failure, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said.
 
“That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,” he said on his personal website, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
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Trump is ‘declaring war’ by naming Jerusalem Israel’s capital, says Palestinian official

Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian representative to Britain, has said it would be “the kiss of death” for the peace process if Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in an expected speech later

Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian representative to Britain, said if Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it is a kiss of death to the peace process.
 
He went on to say Mr Trump is declaring war in the Middle East against Muslims and Christians who will not accept Jerusalem under Israeli control. 
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has said he was concerned about reports Donald Trump would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
 
“Lets wait and see what the President says exactly. But, you know, we view the reports that we have heard with concern because we think that Jerusalem obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” he told reporters in Brussels.
Last night, Palestinian Christians burned pictures of Donald Trump in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
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American citizens in Jerusalem have been warned of violence ahead of Trump’s decision on moving the US embassy

The US diplomatic staff is bracing for violence in Jerusalem after Donald Trump controversially told Middle East leaders that he intended to move the US embassy in Israel to the holy city

Good morning and welcome to The Independent‘s live blog on Jerusalem, which Donald Trump will today recognise as the capital of Israel.
 
The US President will announce the move in a White House speech at 1pm (6pm GMT), instructing the State Department to begin the process of relocating the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

Any US declaration on Jerusalem’s status ahead of a peace deal “would harm peace negotiation process and escalate tension in the region,” Saudi Arabia’s King Salman told Mr Trump, according to a Saudi readout of their telephone conversation.

Declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the King said, “would constitute a flagrant provocation to all Muslims, all over the world.” 

In his calls to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Mr Trump delivered what appeared to be identical messages of intent.

Both leaders warned him moving the embassy would threaten peace efforts and security and stability in the Middle East and the world, according to statements from their offices.

Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the head of the Arab League, urged the US to reconsider any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, warning of “repercussions.”

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told his Parliament such recognition was a “red line” for Muslims and said Turkey could respond by cutting diplomatic ties with Israel. 

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, said he reminded Mr Trump in a phone call that Jerusalem should be determined through negotiations on setting up an independent Palestine alongside Israel.

Meeting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said actions undermining peace efforts “must be absolutely avoided.” 

Additional reporting by agencies

Independent

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