Istanbul • Leaders from across the Middle East condemned on Thursday President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, with U.S. allies and foes alike denouncing the move as reckless and likely to ignite further violence in the region.
Criticism of the move — which breaks with decades of U.S. policy — poured in from U.S. allies and foes alike, from Morocco to Saudi Arabia to Iran.
Jerusalem, while divided, is considered holy by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The U.S. Embassy is currently located in Tel Aviv, and Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of any future state.
"The United States has pulled the pin on a bomb ready to blow in the region," Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday of the decision, Reuters news agency reported, adding that Turkey — a NATO ally — will not recognize the move.
It will throw the Middle East into a "ring of fire," added Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump, he said, was trying to "stir things in the region."
In Iraq, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a close U.S. partner in the fight against the Islamic State, called on Trump to reverse the decision, warning that it could further destabilize the region.
"No one has the right to justify the [Israeli] occupation," of Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, he said in a statement. Later on Thursday, Iraq's Foreign Ministry said it had summoned U.S. Ambassador Douglas Silliman to deliver a letter of protest.
Even stalwart U.S. allies in the Gulf — normally enthusiastic fans of Trump's presidency, reprimanded the administration.
The United Arab Emirates expressed "deep concern over the repercussions of this decision on the region's stability," the state news agency WAM reported.
Saudi Arabia also said it had "previously warned of the serious consequences of such an irresponsible and unwarranted step," according to a statement carried by the state news agency.
The Saudi government, it said, expressed "deep regret that the administration has taken this step."
Elsewhere, militants who have fought U.S. troops took the opportunity to condemn both Israel and the United States.
Akram al-Kaabi, the head of the Iran-backed Nujaba militia in Iraq called Trump's decision "foolish" and said it would spark an uprising, adding that made attacks on U.S. forces, of which there are thousands in Iraq, legitimate.
Longtime American critic, Muqtada al-Sadr, echoed that thought, saying those governments should expel Israeli diplomats and temporarily shutter American embassies.
In Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman said in an emailed statement that the decision will "fan the flames of conflict in the entire world."
Trump, the spokesman said, exposed U.S. support for a "policy of occupation and colonization of Muslim lands."
The Washington Post's El-Ghobashy reported from Baghdad. Mustafa Salim in Baghdad and Sayed Salahuddin in Kabul contributed reporting.