Arab ministers reject US decision on Israeli settlement

Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (Reuters file photo)

Arab foreign ministers on Monday said they "reject" the US decision that it no longer considers Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank illegal.

A statement issued after an emergency meeting at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab League said the US decision "has no legal effect and is a clear violation of UN resolutions".

Arab foreign minister expressed their "condemnation and rejection of the US decision", the statement said.

It came a week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem illegal.

On November 18, Pompeo said that after legal consultation Washington had concluded the establishment of settlements was "not, per se, inconsistent with international law".

That policy shift came nearly two years after President Donald Trump overturned decades of US policy by recognising the contested holy city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, sparking Palestinian and Arab anger.

After Pompeo's announcement the Arab League said the US shift was "an extremely adverse development". 

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