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Jordan King Cancels Romania Trip Over Jerusalem Declaration

Jordan King Cancels Romania Trip Over Jerusalem Declaration

Monday, 25 March, 2019 - 11:00
King Abdullah II of Jordan considers Jerusalem a "red line" | AFP
Amman- Asharq Al-Awsat
Jordan's King Abdullah II has canceled a visit to Romania to protest its prime minister's support for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Royal Hashemite Court said Monday that the king "decided to cancel his visit to Romania which was due to begin on Monday in solidarity with Jerusalem" following the announcement by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. Abdullah was scheduled to visit Romania later in the day.

Dancila's promise, made on Sunday at the annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in Washington, broke with the position of both the European Union and her own president.

"I, as prime minister of Romania, and the government that I run, will move our embassy to Jerusalem," said Dancila, whose country holds the EU's rotating chairmanship.

The move would align Romania with the United States which moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year, sparking international criticism and Palestinian and Arab anger.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, a rival who's in charge of the East European nation's foreign policy, said the prime minister hadn't consulted with him over the decision. He has said that in any case, such a shift would require presidential approval.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital. Palestinians seek east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as their capital.

International consensus holds that the status of Jerusalem -- one of the thorniest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- must first be decided through negotiations between the two sides.

King Abdullah, whose country is the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, has repeatedly said that the question of Jerusalem is key to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The only way to do that, he has said, is by creating a Palestinian state in the disputed holy city alongside Israel.

Last week he called Jerusalem a "red line" for Jordan, while the kingdom's parliament recommended that the government expel Israel's ambassador in response to "Israeli aggression" at holy sites in the city.

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