BY MAX GREENWOOD – 12/02/17 07:04 PM EST
(The Hill) – The Arab League warned on Saturday that President Trump’s potentially forthcoming decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city would “fuel extremism” and violence in the region.
“Today we say very clearly that taking such action is not justified … It will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence,” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“It only benefits one side; the Israeli government that is hostile to peace,” he continued.
Aboul Gheit’s statement came amid media reports that Trump is expected to announce in the coming week that the U.S. will formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump has also vowed to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, though he is expected to pass on that move for now and reauthorize a waiver to keep the outpost in Tel Aviv.
A potential decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be controversial and could complicate Trump’s efforts to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinians want to establish Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state, and the city home to holy sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians.
While Israel considers Jerusalem its official capital, the international community does not recognize Israel’s claim to the city and maintains that Tel Aviv is its official capital.
The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act calls on the U.S. to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, though presidents have signed waivers every six months keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv.