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news 14 Dec 17

Montenegro Activists to Protest Trump's Jerusalem Move

Human rights activists are staging a protest in Podgorica on Friday against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica
Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Berthold Werner.

Activists will rally on Friday in Podgorica, joining others in capitals worldwide to protest against Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The organisers of the protest said they wanted to send a message warning about a new possible armed conflict in the Middle East.

“The Montenegrin people support Palestine, which is the largest concentration camp in the world. Montenegro also has been under occupation for 30 years and it knows perfectly well how it is when someone destroys everything we have,” the organisers told BIRN in a statement.

Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital but on December 7, US President Donald Trump recognised the city as the Israeli capital.

This pleased Israeli officials but angered the Palestinians, who have been campaigning for decades to be recognised as a state at the United Nations.

Trump directed the State Department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a process that officials say will take at least three years.

His announcement provoked condemnation from US allies and a furious reaction from Palestinian leaders and the Muslim world.

Naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel also triggered protests worldwide, with demonstrators accusing the US administration of jeopardising the prospects of Middle East peace.

The EU’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini last week described Trump's announcement as a "dangerous" move that "discredited a bit the United States as an honest broker" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The Palestinians and Montenegro have maintained modest diplomatic relations for a decade.

They were among the first to recognise Montenegro’s independence in June 2006, and the first Palestinian resident ambassador to Podgorica was appointed in 2016.

Montenegro has also recognised Palestine as a state, but in 2011 it abstained when voting on Palestine’s proposed membership of the UN cultural body UNESCO.

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