Trump plans to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and it's already angering Middle East allies

A not-so-small list of countries Trump is alienating includes his friends in Turkey and Saudi Arabia

By Matthew Rozsa

Published December 5, 2017 2:46PM (EST)

 (AP/van Vucci)
(AP/van Vucci)

President Donald Trump's plan to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel may have backfired on him.

Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, made it clear to CNBC that his country would consider a decision by Trump to regard Jerusalem as the capital instead of Tel Aviv as a major impediment to both U.S.-Turkey and Israel-Turkey relations.

"Israel is trying to normalize relations with other Muslim countries, so it will not serve Israel well. I hope there will be no such decision by President Trump,"Cavusoglu told CNBC. "This can go as far as severing Turkey's ties with Israel. I am warning the United States not to take such a step which will deepen the problems in the region. We have to warn the United States that such a decision will be against the U.N. resolutions and international law and international agreements."

King Salman of Saudi Arabia echoed these sentiments, warning Trump that moving America's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as part of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would have dire consequences.

In a statement released by the state-owned news agency, Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Salman said, "Such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque," according to Reuters.

By contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly instructed his ministers to remain silent about Trump's plan to announce the recognition of Jerusalem, according to The Jerusalem Post. Trump is expected to make his official announcement on Wednesday, two days after the deadline expires for him to decide whether to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Israel Jerusalem Saudi Arabia Tel Aviv Turkey