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17:34, 09 January 2017 Monday -

Palestinian leader writes to Trump opposing embassy move



Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has written to US President-elect Donald Trump urging him not to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, official Palestin...

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has written to US President-elect Donald Trump urging him not to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, official Palestinian media said on Monday.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa did not say when the letter was sent but said it aimed to explain the "risks" of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Abbas warned the move would have a "disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region," Wafa said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (C) arrives to cast his vote at the Muqataa, the Palestinian Authority headquarters, in the city of Ramallah in the Israeli occupied West Bank, on December 3, 2016 ©AHMAD GHARABLI (AFP/File)

Trump has said he plans to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a controversial move bitterly opposed by Palestinians as a unilateral action while the status of the city remains contested.

Israel supports the move and has encouraged previous presidents to take similar steps to no avail.

Abbas also sent letters to other world powers including Russia, China and the European Union, calling on them to "spare no effort" to prevent the United States from making the move, Wafa said.

The Palestinians regard Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel proclaims the entire city as its undivided capital.

The United States and most UN member states do not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city's status is one of the thorniest issues of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway last month told a US radio channel moving the embassy was a "very big priority" for the president-elect.

Trump has also nominated David Friedman, a supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as his ambassador to the Jewish state.