January 10, 2018 / 1:24 PM / 5 months ago

Arab League to hold meeting on Jerusalem next month

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Arab League will meet on Feb. 1 to discuss how to counter U.S. President Donald Trump’s move last month to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Egypt’s state news agency MENA said on Wednesday.

Birds fly on a foggy day near the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem's Old City on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, Jerusalem, January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Six Arab foreign ministers who met in Amman last week said Arab states would embark on a diplomatic drive to persuade the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

Arab foreign ministers said in an emergency meeting held following Trump’s decision on December 6 that the move would spur violence throughout the region. They described Trump’s announcement as a “dangerous violation of international law” which had no legal impact.

In recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy, imperilling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Reporting by Ali Abdelaty, writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Gareth Jones

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