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US warned of ‘dangerous consequences’ of moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

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KATHMANDU — Many leaders in the Middle East, including Saudi King Salman, have warned the Unitesd States against moving the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, saying it could jeopardize the peace process in the region.

Saudi King Salman told US President Donald Trump that any decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem before a permanent peace settlement is reached will inflame the feelings of Muslims, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

SPA quoted King Salman as saying that Saudi Arabia supported the Palestinian people and their historic rights and asserted that “such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem …”

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Likewise, “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, the Palestinian president’s spokesperson, said in a statement.

Echoing Abbas’ comments, Jordan’s King Abdullah II also told Trump that such a decision would have “dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region”, according to a statement released by the palace.

Similarly, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has also warned the US against moving the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, saying it could jeopardize the peace process in the region.

The decision, if acted upon, would threaten the ‘meaningful peace process’ and the two-state solution, Mogherini said during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday.

“We believe that any action that would undermine these efforts must absolutely be avoided,” she stated.

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No country currently has its embassy in Jerusalem, and the international community, including the US itself, does not recognise Israel’s jurisdiction over and ownership of the ancient city.

Israel claims the city as its capital, following the occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan, and considers Jerusalem to be a ‘united’ city while Palestinians have long seen East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Agencies

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US ready to talk to North Korea without preconditions

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WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said Washington is ready to begin talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, without pre-conditions.

“We’re ready to have the first meeting without preconditions,” Tillerson told a meeting on the crisis at the Atlantic Council policy forum in Washington.

Tillerson’s new diplomatic overture comes nearly two weeks after North Korea said it had successfully tested a breakthrough intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire United States mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

“Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want and talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about,” Tillerson said.

This appeared to represent a softening in the US position, seeing as officials had previously demanded that Kim Jong-Un’s regime demonstrate a willingness to consider giving up its arsenal.

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But, the White House later issued an ambiguous statement that left unclear whether President Donald Trump — who has said Tillerson was wasting his time pursuing dialogue with North Korea — had given his approval for the speech.

“The president’s views on North Korea have not changed,” the White House said adding, “North Korea is acting in an unsafe way … North Korea’s actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea.”

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Un has vowed to make North Korea the “world’s strongest nuclear power,” tate media reported Wednesday.

Mr Kim told workers behind the recent test of a new missile that his country “will victoriously advance and leap as the strongest nuclear power and military power in the world,” in a ceremony on Tuesday, according to state news agency KCNA.

GNN/Reuters

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