Israeli foreign minister Katz praises Trump on Jerusalem move in UNGA speech

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters United Nations Sep 27, 2019, 05.10 PM (IST)

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz praised US President Donald Trump in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

"I want to thank the President of the United States, Donald Trump, for his historic and brave decision to recognise Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people," Katz told the gathering.

In 2017 Trump broke with longstanding US policy when he recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperilling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

"I call on all countries to follow the United States and to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. No one can separate the Jewish people from our historical homeland, and no one can separate us from Jerusalem, our eternal capital," he added.

Earlier in the day, in his address to the General Assembly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Trump to rescind his decisions recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and cutting aid to the Palestinians, which he said had undermined the two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.

Katz also singled out Trump's hard line policy towards Iran, saying, "I call on the international community to support President Trump's "maximum pressure policy' against Iran. This is the way to stop them. We must stop Iran today, in order to prevent war tomorrow," he added.

The US-Iranian confrontation has ratcheted up since last year, when US President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy to force Tehran to renegotiate the pact.

Iran refuses to hold any talks with the United States unless Washington lifts sanctions on Tehran.

Story highlights

In 2017 Trump broke with longstanding US policy when he recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperilling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike