Published:  02:23 AM, 08 December 2017

'East Jerusalem has to be the capital of Palestine'

'East Jerusalem has to be the capital of Palestine'

Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital will jeopardize the peace efforts the US itself initiated, says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.Speaking at a media briefing in Dhaka, Hasina said that it is only natural that President Trump's announcement is not acceptable to the Muslim nations.

"There's a UN resolution on this and none will accept the announcement disregarding it," she said.The Palestinians have the right for their own state, said the prime minister adding that the 1967 border has to be reinstated. "In line with that agreement, East Jerusalem has to be the capital of Palestine."

Referring to the 2000 peace effort brokered by the then US president Bill Clinton, Hasina said, "It's the US that started the effort to end the conflict. In fact, a Nobel Peace prize was awarded for it, and now they are jeopardizing it." The prime minister called on the Muslim world to get united against the unilateral decision.Moreover, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: "BNP chief Khaleda Zia who must apologize to the nation for the misdeeds she has done."

Her remarks came while replying to a query from the media referring to Khaleda's statement in court that she had forgiven her political rival."What was it? Did she pardon (me) or seek forgiveness (for her own misdeeds)? What did I do?" she said referring to the attacks on her and other Awami League leaders during the Khaleda regime.

Ruling out the possibility of holding any early election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said no such situation has been created in the country to hold the polls before the scheduled time. "Election can be held any time in a democratic system. But no such appalling situation has been created in the country for which we need to hold early election," she said.

The Prime Minister came up with the remark at a press conference arranged at her official residence Ganobhaban to brief journalists about the outcome of her just-concluded visit to Cambodia.Replying to a question whether the government will take any step to bring BNP in the election, Sheikh Hasina said it is BNP's own decision whether it will participate in the polls or not.

Meanwhile, Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East have condemned the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washing-ton was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator. The European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at US President Donald Trump's decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and its repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Major US allies came out against Trump's reversal of decades of US and broad international policy on Jerusalem.France rejected the "unilateral" decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem's status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.

Israel, by contrast, applauded Trump's move. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a pre-recorded video message that it was "an important step towards peace" and it was "our goal from Israel's first day".He added that any peace accord with the Palestinians would have to include Jerusalem as Israel's capital and he urged other countries to follow Trump's example.

Trump upended decades of US policy in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risks aggravating conflict in the tinderbox Middle East.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a pre-recorded speech, said Jerusalem was the "eternal capital of the State of Palestine" and that Trump's move was "tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator."

The last round of US-brokered talks foundered in 2014 over issues including Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and Israeli accusations of Palestinian incitement to violence and refusal to recognize it as a Jewish state.

UN Security Council to meet Friday on Jerusalem
The UN Security Council will meet on Friday in emergency session to discuss the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the council's leadership announced Wednesday. The talks -- requested by eight nations -- will begin at 10:00 am (1500 GMT), but there are other items on the agenda, so the Jerusalem issue may not come up until the late morning, said Japan, which holds the council's rotating presidency.

Bolivia, Britain, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay requested the talks. They have also asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to open the meeting with remarks.

After Trump's announcement, Guterres said Jerusalem's final status could only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Guterres added that he had "consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures." "There is no alternative to the two-state solution."

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