Politics Theresa May says Trump moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem is 'unhelpful' for peace

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The White House has decided to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

theresa may benjamin netanyahu number 10 downing street prime minister israel play

theresa may benjamin netanyahu number 10 downing street prime minister israel

(Carl Court/Getty Images)
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  • Donald Trump has been criticised by world leaders after deciding to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May says the move is "unhelpful" for the peace process.


Theresa May has criticised Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital as Israel, calling the provocative move "unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

The status of Jerusalem is hotly disputed, with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority laying claim to the city as their capital. Every other country does not recognise it as the capital of Israel, and instead base their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump announced that the United States now recognises Israel's claim, and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the holy city — sparking immediate protests and risking inflaming tensions in the region.

In a statement, the British prime minister said that the government disagreed with the American decision, and will keep its own embassy in Tel Aviv.

"Our position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and long-standing; it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states," May said.

The decision was, she said, "unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

French president Emmanuel Macron also criticised the move, saying in a statement: "France does not approve the US decision. France supports the Two-State Solution, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. We must prefer appeasement and dialogue."

"My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," Trump said when he announced the decision. "I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians."

The US president said America is not making any decisions on the final status of the city after any potential negotiations, or on the borders of East and West Jerusalem.