President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel drew criticism and concern from many world leaders after he announced plans on Wednesday to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, threatening any chance for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
The decision divided the Trump administration, with many top officials opposing the decision, while Vice President Mike Pence, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman argued in favor of the move.
Pope Francis expressed “deep concern” and reiterated his support for a two-state solution. British Prime Minister Theresa May called Trump’s announcement “unhelpful” to the peace process, while Scottish First Minister Nikola Sturgeon said it was “reckless” and “wrong.” French President Emmanuel Macron described it as “regrettable.”
Russia and China also expressed concern that Trump’s decision regarding Jerusalem could jeopardize peace between Israel and Palestine. The Saudi King said that Trump’s announcement was a “flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world.”
Now, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has also announced his opposition to the U.S.’s decision.
Guterres has been a consistent advocate of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, and has pushed for direct and “meaningful” negotiations between both sides.
“From day one as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” Guterres said. “Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides.
“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B,” Guterres said during a press conference.
Video of Guterres’ comments are below: