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Wednesday Dec 06 2017

Pakistan says ignoring pleas not to shift US embassy to Jerusalem 'deeply regrettable'


ISLAMABAD: A statement from the Prime Minister Office has stated that it is "deeply regrettable that pleas from states across the globe not to alter the legal and historical status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif have been ignored, more out of choice than necessity." 

The Government of Pakistan welcomes the announcement by Turkey to convene an extraordinary Islamic Summit next week to discuss this serious issue, the statement added. 

"This decision represents a serious violation of international law and applicable UN Security Council resolutions, more specifically UNSCR 478. It is a serious setback to the rule of law and international norms. It signals a severe blow to the Middle East peace process as well.

Pakistan shares the international outrage and is deeply concerned over the implications of this decision for international peace and security, especially in the Middle East, the statement said and added that Pakistan called upon the UN Security Council to take cognisance of this situation and take steps in accordance with the UN Charter.

Pakistan urged the United States to revisit its decision as soon as possible in order to avoid the potentially grave repercussions in the region and beyond."

Earlier, the Foreign Office termed the move by the United States, to shift its embassy to the occupied city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, as illegal and a clear violation of the international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

“The step would constitute a clear violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions particularly UNSCR 478 of 1980 and it would also sidestep decades of global consensus on this issue, undermine regional peace and security as well as derail any prospects for a lasting peace in the Middle East,” the press release says.

The people and the government of Pakistan are unequivocally opposed to the plan of shifting the US Embassy to Al-Quds Al-Sharif, a spokesperson of the foreign office said.

“Pakistan fully endorses the recently adopted Final Communique of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on this issue,” the press release says.

The Foreign Office called upon the United States to ‘refrain from any move that alters the legal and historical status as well as the character of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, fully comply with all applicable UN Security Council resolutions including UNSCR 478.’

While reaffirming full solidarity with the Palestinian people, the foreign office renewed its call for the establishment of a ‘viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine,’ on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Pakistani leaders condemn US move

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan on Wednesday afternoon condemned the decision of the United States.

"Trump's plan to shift [the] US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem is contrary to all UN resolutions and is an attempt to deliberately add to the chaos in the Middle East," Imran tweeted. 

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also took to twitter to condemn the US move.

"By moving the embassy, [the] US will practically alter the status of Jerusalem. An affront to Palestinians and the Muslim world.. practically burying the two states solutions.. Will add another wound to already bleeding body of Muslim Ummah," Asif wrote.