Putin ‘deeply concerned’ over US Jerusalem recognition

MOSCOW — Russian president Vladimir Putin is “deeply concerned” by Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Kremlin said in a statement Thursday.

In a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin called for the Palestinians and Israel to “hold back” and renew negotiations.

“This kind of measure can block possible paths to peace in the Middle East,” the Kremlin said of US President Donald Trump’s move.

Trump’s defiant announcement, making good on a core campaign pledge, ended seven decades of US ambiguity on the status of the Holy City.

Earlier, the Russian foreign ministry said Trump’s decision threatened security and risked aggravating already complicated Israeli-Palestinian ties.

“Moscow views the decisions announced in Washington with serious concern,” the ministry said in a statement.

It called on “all involved parties to show restraint and forego any action that would be fraught with dangerous and non-controllable consequences.”

Moscow stressed its traditional view that the two sides should negotiate their long-running conflict during “direct Palestinian-Israeli talks.”

Moscow said earlier that it considers East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, and West Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War. It later extended sovereignty over the area in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israel, which claims sovereignty throughout the city, welcomed Trump’s recognition; the Palestinians who seek East Jerusalem as the capital of their intended state, condemned it.

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