22:09 GMT20 June 2021
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    The Trump administration's alleged indication that that the US may accept Jerusalem's status as the capital of Israel has created shock waves of severe criticism within the Middle East and beyond, but the Israeli cabinet member tasked with managing the city's affairs says there's nothing to worry about.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Zeev Elkin said in an interview with Sputnik that, as far as he's concerned, the city's possible recognition by the United States as the Israeli capital would not have negative implications.

    "Israel expects all countries of the world, not only the United States and Russia, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel …," Elkin added.

    The ancient city of Jerusalem is claimed as a capital by both Israel and Palestine, hindering efforts to create a two-state solution to the 70-year-old conflict. Last week, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said that he was close to a decision on whether to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    The possible move has already elicited severe criticism from several regional officials. For instance, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit warned in a statement published on the organization's website that the decision isn't justified and "will not serve peace or stability, but will feed extremism" and result in violence.

    Jerusalem was declared the unified capital of Israel in 1980 in a move that was never recognized by any foreign state. Russia, along with the majority of the countries in the UN General Assembly, voted in 2012 to recognize Palestine as a state with non-member observer status.

    READ MORE: Israel Free to Act in Syria to Defend Own Security — Defense Minister



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