Theresa May discusses Jerusalem move during call to Donald Trump
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Theresa May discusses Jerusalem move during call to Donald Trump

Prime Minister criticised by the leader of the opposition for taking two weeks to confront the president over the 'dangerous decision'

rime Minister Theresa May meeting US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC.

(Photo credit : Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
rime Minister Theresa May meeting US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC. (Photo credit : Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Theresa May discussed Britain and America’s differing positions on the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel, during a phone call with the president.

A Number 10 spokesman confirmed the two leaders spoke about the controversial move made last month, though she was criticised by Jeremy Corbyn for taking two weeks to do so.

Trump sparked protests across the Middle East by breaking with decades of US neutrality in the peace process on December 6 to announce he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

May said at Prime Minister’s Questions that day she intended to talk to Trump about the matter, but this is the first time they have spoken.

The PM’s spokesman said the fact it took 13 days between May announcing her intention to speak with Trump about Jerusalem and the call actually taking place was a “matter of scheduling” and the PM “didn’t put any timeframe on it”.

May spoke to the American president after Britain joined 13 other members of the United Nation’s Security Council in backing a resolution, vetoed by the US, which rejected the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “They discussed the different positions we took on the recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and agreed on the importance of the US bringing forward new proposals for peace and the international community supporting these efforts.

Theresa May was also criticised for “not calling out” Donald Trump on retweeting anti-Muslim videos during a phone call with the US president.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made the accusation after a Downing Street summary of the talks failed to mention the controversy which sparked an extraordinary transatlantic bust-up.

A spokesman for Corbyn said: “It has taken Theresa May two weeks to contact Trump over his dangerous decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, yet she seems to have failed to use the opportunity to call him out for retweeting abhorrent Islamophobic material.

“As Prime Minister, May has a responsibility to stand up against hate and for all communities in our country.”

The call was the first time the two leaders had spoken since their public row over Trump’s sharing of inflammatory anti-Muslim videos posted by the far-right Britain First group’s deputy leader, Jayda Fransen.

At the time, the PM said Mr Trump was “wrong” to retweet the videos, and the US president hit back at May on Twitter by telling her to focus on “destructive radical Islamic terrorism” in the UK, rather than on him.

 

 

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