President Trump committed to Middle East peace process: Tillerson

Israeli flags fly near the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on December 5, 2017. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Brussels, Belgium Dec 06, 2017, 02.40 PM (IST)

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson speaking at the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said there is a "very good opportunity for peace to be achieved" in the Middle East with President Trump set to announce his decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"The president is very committed to the Middle East peace process," adding,"We continue to believe there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved and the president has a team that is devoted to that entirely."
 
Tillerson said Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was "engaged in a quiet way" in the Middle East to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, PM Theresa May told British Parliament today said she will be calling Trump as he gets ready to announce his decision to announce Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Our position has not changed. The status of Jerusalem should be determined as a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and Jerusalem should be a shared capital," May said.

Trump's imminent announcement triggered a wave of protest in the Middle East with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani calling it "wrong, illegitimate, provocative and very dangerous".

Iran has been supporting the Palestinian cause since the 70s when the Islamic revolution took place in that country.

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Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said:" The Islamic world will undoubtedly stand against this plot and the Zionists will receive a big blow from this action and dear Palestine will be liberated."

 Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it would be a "grave mistake" if the United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump is due to announce his decision to back Israel's claim on Jerusalem at 1800 (GMT).