US' Jerusalem move could return region to 'darker times': EU's Mogherini


European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini expressed "serious concern" about U.S. president Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying it could have "repercussions" for the prospect of peace in the Middle East.

"President Trump's announcement on Jerusalem has a very worrying potential impact".

The EU, along with other major worldwide powers, has repeatedly voiced deep concern this week about Trump's declaration.

"We believe that any move that could derail the possibility of re-launching talks for instance moves around Jerusalem will be detrimental in immediate terms and in the perspective of opening diplomatic process in the Middle East", she said. The Israeli military deployed hundreds of more troops to the occupied West Bank.

Saudi Arabia also expressed its concern over media reports that the US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate its embassy there, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The issue is likely to dominate a breakfast meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and European Union foreign ministers on Monday, she added.

Early Tuesday, Mogherini met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, telling him that "any action that would undermine" peace efforts to create two separate states for the Israelis and the Palestinians "must absolutely be avoided", according to Reuters. "The most urgent priority now is that all relevant actors avoid to further escalate tensions on the ground", she added.

Trump has also vowed to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, though he is expected to temporarily punt on that move on Wednesday and sign a waiver keeping the facility in Tel Aviv for at least another six months. It might have serious repercussions on public opinion in large parts of the world.

Mr. Macron said that the question of the status of Jerusalem "should be regulated within the framework of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly with a view to the establishment of two states living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as capital", the statement said.