THE TÁNAISTE has blasted Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as 'ill advised' and 'unhelpful.'
The Deputy Leader and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney made the comments last night following the decision to recognise the divided city as the capital.
The White House said the foreign policy of the United States is grounded in realism and acknowledgement of 'plain facts.'
"With respect to the State of Israel, that requires officially recognising Jerusalem as its capital and relocating the United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem as soon as practicable," they announced.
In a televised announcement, Trump said: "Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: That Jerusalem is Israel's capital.
"This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done."
In response to the decision, the Tánaiste said: "Jerusalem is one of the permanent status issues which is to be settled in a final peace agreement in the Middle East.
"It has been the united position of the international community for decades, as set out in UN Security Council Resolutions, that a resolution of the Middle East conflict will include agreement for Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine.
"If the peace negotiations are to be successful, this will happen at the end of the process, when the full set of compromises has been worked out.
"The dangerously heightened tensions in Jerusalem in recent years have also underlined the need to avoid any unilateral actions to alter the status quo in the city.
"I believe therefore that the announcement by the United States in relation to Jerusalem is premature and ill-advised, and will be unhelpful to efforts to reach a resolution of the Middle East Peace Process, something which is very urgently needed."
The Tánaiste added that he and other leaders had conveyed his concerns to US prior to the announcement, which made the confirmation of the decision 'disappointing and difficult' to understand he said.
Minister Coveney reiterated Ireland's commitment to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to reach a 'peaceful, negotiated solution to the Middle East Peace Process.'
"Something which is essential for Israel to secure its future, and for Palestinians to enjoy their full political rights," he said.
The decision also lead to widespread criticism from international leaders, including Saudi Arabia’s royal court who called it “unjustified and irresponsible” in a rare rebuke of the US, and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said Trump had thrown the Middle East into a “ring of fire."
The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting over Trump's decision.