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Georgian Dream MP Wants to Follow Trump’s Lead and Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, December 8
(TBILISI)— On Thursday, a member of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) majority, Shota Shalelashvili, sent a letter to Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili calling on the government to follow US President Donald Trump’s controversial move to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump broke with seven decades of US foreign policy on Wednesday and recognized a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The move has the potential to plunge the wider Middle East into chaos and crater the already troubled peace efforts to settle the 70-year-old Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

The whole of the Muslim world, as well as the US’ close Western allies, reacted with outrage at Trump’s unprovoked unilateral declaration and his subsequent order to move the US embassy from Israel’s internationally recognized capital of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Shalelashvili’s letter to Kvirikashvili makes the case that Georgia has the chance to become the second nation after the United States to support Israel and to “confirm its firm commitment as a strategic partner and a friendly state [US].”

“This will be the decision that will instantly bring dividends to our country,” the GD member wrote.

Shalelashvili, who holds triple citizenship with Georgia, Israel and Russia, expressed hope that Kvirikashvili will give an adequate assessment to the importance of the issue and will correctly evaluate its scope.

“Under your leadership, Georgia will become a participant in the most important global political process with the US,” Shalelashvili said in his open letter to Kvirikashvili, adding that he also hoped the Parliament would publicly approve his initiative.

The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy for Muslims, Jews and Christians - is one of the main stumbling blocks to reach a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel, which considers Jerusalem to be its religious and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there, welcomed Trump’s decision. Palestinians have long contended that East Jerusalem, including the ancient Old City, will be the capital of their future independent state, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem has never been recognized by the international community or the United Nations.

Eight of the 15 United Nations Security Council member called for an emergency session by the end of the week to discuss Trump’s move.