Pakistan condemns US embassy relocation plans to Jerusalem

Staff Report
ISLAMABAD: On the likelihood that United States (US) may shift its embassy in Israel from hayarkon street in Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem (Al-Quds Al-Sharif), under Israeli control since 1967, a Pakistani statement, on Wednesday, opposed the likely move calling it a clear violation of international law and united nations security council resolutions (UNSCR) particularly UNSCR 478 of 1980.

The statement read, the people and government of Pakistan (GoP) have noted with grave concern the reported move by the US to shift its embassy to the occupied city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, thereby altering the legal and historical status of the city.

Such a step will sidestep decades of global consensus on this issue, undermine regional peace and security as well as derail any prospects for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

The people and GoP are unequivocally opposed to the reported plan of shifting the US embassy to Al-Quds Al-Sharif. Pakistan fully endorses the recently adopted final communique of the organisation of Islamic conference (OIC) on this issue.

Pakistan calls upon the United States to refrain from any move that alters the legal and historical status as well as character of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, fully comply with all applicable UN security council resolutions including UNSCR 478.

While reaffirming full solidarity with the Palestinian people, Pakistan renews its call for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Meanwhile, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Wednesday, answering China’s response to the likelihood of US president Donald Trump declaring formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6 and will delay relocating the US embassy in Israel for another 6 months, said that China is worried about any potential flare-up of regional tensions.

Geng said that the status of Jerusalem is a complicated and sensitive issue. All parties shall bear in mind regional peace and tranquillity, proceed with caution, and avoid impacting on the long-standing basis for the settlement of the Palestinian issue or triggering new rivalry in the region.

China firmly supports, he added, and advances the Middle East peace process. We support the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and stand behind Palestine in building an independent, full sovereignty state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We call on all parties to remain committed to resolving disputes through negotiations and promoting regional peace and stability in accordance with the relevant united nations (UN) resolutions.

Earlier, US embassy in Israel on Tuesday issued a security message for US citizens that with widespread calls for demonstrations beginning December 6 in Jerusalem and the West Bank, US government employees and their family members are not permitted until further notice to conduct personal travel in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank, to include Bethlehem and Jericho.

Official travel by US government employees in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank is permitted only to conduct essential travel and with additional security measures.

US citizens should avoid areas where crowds have gathered and where there is increased police and/or military presence. We recommend that US citizens take into consideration these restrictions and the additional guidance contained in the state department’s travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza when making decisions regarding their travel.