Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud warned U.S. President Donald Trump of a furious backlash from the Muslim world if he moves forward in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the official U.S. embassy to the city.
The kingdom, which has vowed to establish relations with Israel, has followed suit with virtually every country in the Muslim world by opposing the controversial decision by Trump. However, critics see these words as hollow due to Saudi Arabia’s increased cooperation with the U.S. and Israel.
"Moving the U.S. embassy is a dangerous step that provokes the feelings of Muslims around the world," said King Salman during a phone call with Trump.
Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has courted Israeli investors and moved to establish a relationship with the country, which was labeled an ‘apartheid regime’ by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper, came under the possession of a secret letter authored by Adel al-Jubeir to Prince Mohammed that discussed a plan to normalize relations with Israel despite a majority of the Muslim world permanently ending ties with the ethnostate.
The plan would see Saudi Arabia play a larger role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by helping Palestinians relocate to other countries as refugees rather than remaining in their ancestral lands.
Meanwhile, Palestinians have demonstrated unanimous outrage over the move by Trump.
"The American administration's recognition of occupied Jerusalem as the occupation's capital and moving its embassy to Jerusalem crosses every red line," said Ismail Haniya, the chief of the Palestinian resistance, Hamas.
Other Arab countries including Egypt joined the chorus of opposition.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told his U.S. counterpart "not to complicate the situation in the region by taking measures that jeopardize the chances of peace in the Middle East."
"Egypt's consistent position on maintaining the legal status of Jerusalem within the framework of international standards and relevant United Nations resolutions," he added.