France's Foreign Minister Bashes Trump's Plan to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

Move would be a provocation with 'extremely serious consequences,' Jean-Marc Ayrault says on sidelines of Paris peace conference.

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Barak Ravid
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French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault addresses delegates at the opening of the Mideast peace conference in Paris on January 15, 2017.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault addresses delegates at the opening of the Mideast peace conference in Paris on January 15, 2017.Credit: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

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France's foreign minister said on Sunday a proposal by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to move the American embassy to Jerusalem would be a provocation with serious consequences.

"Of course (it's a provocation). I think he would not be able to do it," Jean-Marc Ayrault told France 3 television amid a conference on the Middle East peace process in Paris. "It would have extremely serious consequences and it's not the first time that it's on the agenda of a U.S. president, but none have let themselves make that decision.

"One cannot have such a clear-cut, unilateral position. You have to create the conditions for peace."

Trump is said to be in favor of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after he takes office on January 20.

Official U.S. policy doesn't recognize Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, which Israel claims as its capital. The U.S. embassy is in Tel Aviv.

In an interview to the French daily Le Figaro, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned against a possible American decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, saying that such a decision would lead the Palestinian Authority to reconsider its recognition of Israel.

Reuters contributed to this report

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