US' mediator role is now deemed irrelevant: Palestinian Ambassador

KUALA LUMPUR: After more than 20 years the United States (US) brokered the Palestine-Israel peace process, the role has now deemed irrelevant following President Donald Trump's announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, said Palestinian Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Dr Anwar Al Agha.

Describing the announcement as a "historic mistake", he said Trump has no right to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"We believe by this decision, US has no role as a mediator after this. US government will not be involved in the peace process if they don't revise their decision.

"This is a Palestinian land. Jerusalem will only be the capital of Palestine. We only compromise to agree to the two-state solution to have the East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, as underlined in the United Nations (UN) resolution 181," he told Bernama at the news agency headquarters here, today.

The resolution was adopted in 1947 at UN General Assembly, which saw the establishment of Israel as a state one year later in 1948.

The Palestine-Israel peace process, began after the 1993 Oslo Accords, is an ongoing American-mediated effort to broker a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians.

Dr Anwar stressed that Trump's announcement was a contradiction to the two-state solution and that his country is still waiting for the implementation of the second part of the Resolution 181, which is the establishment of Palestine as a state.

"Trump's decision is not acceptable and this is against the rights of the Palestinian people. We the Palestinian people are the only people who can decide that the East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine," he said.

He also noted that issues regarding Trump's decision and the new peace process mediator will be discussed at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Extraordinary Summit and Ministerial Meetings scheduled to be held in Istanbul this Wednesday.

"We still have to wait until the consultation is over because Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is consulting with leaders of the OIC, the Arab League and the rest of the world to come out with a result. Then we can see who is really serious to mediate in this regard," he added.

On the same development, an emergency meeting of the 22-member state Arab League held over the weekend in Cairo has called for economic and financial sanctions against the US and would seek a UN Security Council resolution rejecting the US move.

"We are very proud of their unity (both OIC and Arab League meetings). We hope they will all come together to stop the Israeli aggression and Trump's decision on Jerusalem," he said.

On Malaysia's stand on the matter, he said Malaysia has always been a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and expressed gratitude for the firm stand shown by the Malaysian government and its people.

On Dec 6, Trump announced US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and setting in motion a plan to move the United States' embassy from Tel Aviv to the viciously contested holy city.

Jerusalem or Baitulmuqaddis is a city considered sacred for three world religions namely Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For Muslims, the city is the third holy land after Makkah and Madinah. — Bernama