FOREIGN POLICY/ISRAEL/PALESTINE/SAUDI ARABIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The first signs of strain with President Donald Trump’s administration among his closest Arab allies have surfaced over the policy shift on Jerusalem, an indication that the U.S. is at risk of alienating potential partners in the pursuit of Mideast peace and the building of a coalition to counter Iran.
In a rare public rebuke to its most important ally, Saudi Arabia in a statement Thursday [12-7-17] criticized the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city. It called on the White House to reverse the ‘irresponsible and unwarranted step,’ saying it would lead to ‘a drastic regression’ in peace prospects.
Riyadh was joined in its condemnation by Jordan, one of the most moderate U.S. allies in the region. Amman in a statement lambasted the White House decision, saying it ‘fuels anger and inflames the passions of Muslims and Christians throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.’ Iraq’s foreign ministry summoned U.S. ambassador Douglas A. Silliman to hand him a letter of protest over the Jerusalem move.
Critics say Mr. Trump’s decision, laid out in a policy speech Wednesday in Washington, could endanger months of U.S. efforts to deepen ties with Arab states. It also risks inflaming anti-U.S. protests and stoking violence across the Middle East.”
-Rory Jones and Margherita Stancati, “Trump’s Jerusalem Stance Raises Tension With Arab Allies,” The Wall Street Journal online, Dec. 7, 2017 07:56am