The UN Secretary-General has confirmed his opposition to the planned move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem next week, Quds Press has reported. The position of António Guterres is "very clear" on this issue, said his spokesman.
"He has expressed this on many occasions before," Stéphane Dujarric told a press conference on Tuesday. "He is against this unilateral US move, and his position has not changed." He added that the Secretary-General respects the sovereign rights of the Member States of the United Nations."
Washington plans to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem on 14 May, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the occupation state of Israel in Palestine in 1948, known to Palestinians as the Nakba (Catastrophe).
Widespread criticism has been forthcoming since the move was announced. Warnings are now being issued about the possible repercussions of the embassy transfer into occupied territory. This is especially serious given the overall security situation in the Middle East.
US President Donald Trump announced in December his recognition of both East and West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is the occupying power. That is when he also said that he will move the embassy, a decision which has been copied by one or two states dependent on Washington's support.
The Palestinians expect to have occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their independent state. The international community does not accept Israel's occupation of the city since 1967, nor recognise its formal annexation in 1980.