Palestinian demonstrators clash with Isralei troops during protests against a decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. AFP

BRUSSELS: US President Donald Trump's decision to officially recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital could take the region "backwards to even darker times", the EU's diplomatic chief warned on Thursday.

"President Trump's announcement on Jerusalem has a very worrying potential impact. It is a very fragile context and the announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we're already living in," Federica Mogherini told a press conference in Brussels.

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

His move upends seven decades of US ambiguity on the highly contentious status of the holy city, which is claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis.

Trump's announcement sparked a Palestinian general strike and a call for a new "intifada" or uprising. The Israeli military deployed hundreds of more troops to the occupied West Bank.


Federica Mogherini the EU High representative for foreign policy gives a press briefing after US president Donald J. Trump announced that the USA is recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in Brussels, Belgium. EPA-EFF

Mogherini, who meets Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Brussels on Friday and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, called for cool heads.

"What we truly need in these difficult times is wisdom and to listen to the wise voices calling for peace and peaceful reactions," Mogherini said.

"We believe this difficult moment calls for an even stronger engagement for peace. The most urgent priority now is that all relevant actors avoid to further escalate tensions on the ground," she added. - AFP

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