EU calls for Jerusalem to be capital of two states
After a two-day meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, the Council of the European Union issued a joint statement on 8th December calling for a two-state solution based on 1967 lines, that would have Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state. « The Council reconfirms its support for the United States’ efforts to resume negotiations on all final status issues, including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, security and water, respecting previous agreements and understandings, » the statement said. « The European Union will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. »
The EU Council statement also expressed deep concern about the situation in East Jerusalem. « The Council recalls that it has never recognised the annexation of East Jerusalem, » it said. « If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. »
It called on the Israeli government « to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. » Israel reacted to what it called an « extreme » position. Newspapers in the Middle East agreed that Palestinians stand to benefit from the EU Council statement. Al Arham wrote « Palestinians want more than words« .The head of the PLO Negotiation Affairs Department Saeb Erakat welcomed the conclusions adopted by the EU Council. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad described the EU statement as an « important juncture » towards realising Palestinian statehood and applauded the EU’s assertion that a final resolution of the conflict would have to be based on UN Security Council resolutions, the Arab Initiative and the land- for-peace formula.