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Saudi Arabia condemns Trump administration’s move to ‘legalize’ Israeli settlements in West Bank

Saudi Arabia condemns Trump administration’s move to ‘legalize’ Israeli settlements in West Bank
Foreign ministers from Arab League countries slammed the US’ decision to stop viewing Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, during an extraordinary meeting. Even Washington’s ally Saudi Arabia condemned the move.

The emergency gathering, held on Monday, to discuss the U-turn in the US’ position on settlements was earlier requested by Palestine. The decision puts the whole Israeli-Palestinian peace process in jeopardy, while nullifying the US’ role as a mediator in the decades-old conflict, Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said in a fiery televised speech.

The US announcement constitutes an end to its role as a mediator after four decades of work in this file.

Member states of the AL did not mince words about Washington’s move either, including one of the US' closest allies in the pan-Arab group – Saudi Arabia. FM Faisal bin Farhan said his country firmly rejects US President Donald Trump’s decision and vowed that Saudi Arabia will continue to support Palestine in its struggle to gain its rights.

Also on rt.com Outrage erupts over Trump administration’s ‘legalization’ of (still-illegal) Israeli settlements in West Bank

The controversial move was announced last Monday by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Washington decided to walk away from its decades-old stance on the settlements issue and will no longer regard them as violating international laws – in a direct contradiction to UN resolutions that explicitly call the settlements illegal. While Pompeo tried to somewhat downplay the announcement, claiming it was merely a result of a “legal review” of sorts and was not intended to send any message, it caused a very angry reaction worldwide – and received high praise in Israel.

The decision was criticized as a very dangerous step that makes an already thin possibility of achieving a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians even more bleak. Trump’s domestic critics warned that it would put US foreign policy in jeopardy and pave the way for an international isolation of Washington.

Also on rt.com Moscow slams US decision to ‘legalize’ Israeli settlements in West Bank, says it puts spanner in the works for peace process

This is the latest openly pro-Israel move undertaken by Trump’s administration. Earlier, Washington moved its embassy to Jerusalem – de-facto recognizing it as Israel’s capital. It also acknowledged Tel Aviv’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is an Israeli-occupied part of Syria.

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