Riyadh expressed its frustration over US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement in a statement on Thursday, calling on Washington to reverse its decision. The Saudi government said that the declaration “represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.”

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Saudi Arabia has joined its fellow Arab countries in slamming US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to the Saudi Press Agency. The Saudi Royal Court issued on Thursday a statement explaining that Riyadh “had previously warned of the serious consequences of such an irresponsible and unwarranted step.”

The move, according to the Saudi government, “represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.” Riyadh also urged the US administration to reverse its decision and “support the international will to enable the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights.”

Trump and the Saudi crown prince

Trump and the Saudi crown prince Photo Credit: EPA

A day before Trump’s speech, Saudi King Salman and Trump spoke over the phone. According to the White House, Trump reassured Salman that he is committed to advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The Saudi Press Agency reported that Salman told Trump that any US declaration on Jerusalem’s status before reaching a final deal “would harm peace negotiation process and escalate tension in the region.”

Meanwhile, various US officials have voiced their support for Trump’s decision. House Speaker Paul Ryan stated: “This is a day that is long overdue. Jerusalem has been, and always will be, the eternal, undivided capital of the State of Israel. The city’s status as the religious epicenter of Judaism is an historical fact—not a matter of debate. Today’s announcement is a recognition of reality that in no way inhibits efforts to reach a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”