Jordan's king cancels Romania visit over Jerusalem embassy move

Jordan's King Abdullah II cancelled a visit to Romania after PM Viorica Dancila told a conference in Washington on Sunday that her country was moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The king "decided to cancel his visit to Romania which was due to begin on Monday in solidarity with Jerusalem, a royal court statement said.

Dancila's decision broke with the position of both the EU and her own president Klaus Iohannis. He said that in any case, such a shift would require presidential approval. Romania holds the EU's rotating chairmanship.

The move would align Romania with the US which moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year, sparking international criticism and Palestinian and Arab anger. Israel sees the entire city of Jerusalem as its capital while the Palestinians consider the eastern sector annexed by Israel as the capital of their future state. International consensus holds that the status of Jerusalem, one of the thorniest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, must first be decided through negotiations between the two sides.

King Abdullah, whose country is the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, has repeatedly said that the question of Jerusalem is key to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The only way to do that, he has said, is by creating a Palestinian state in the disputed holy city alongside Israel. Jordan is the only Arab country apart from Egypt to have a peace deal with Israel. But the treaty is overwhelmingly opposed by Jordanians, more than half of whom are of Palestinian origin.

 

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