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Livni to Sweden: Hands Off Jerusalem

Opposition Leader Livni echoes the Foreign Ministry's call to int'l community not to pre-empt PA talks by calling for the division of Jerusalem.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/2/2009, 2:23 PM / Last Update: 12/2/2009, 2:38 PM

Opposition Leader and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has written to Sweden’s Foreign Minister, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, warning it against calling for the division of Jerusalem and recognizing eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a PA state.

The letter followed a Foreign Ministry statement addressed to the European Union to the same effect. The ministry stated that recognizing part of Jerusalem as a PA capital would be harmful to peace talks.

“In light of the disturbing reports regarding a EU document that takes a stand on Jerusalem,” Livni wrote, “I hereby express before you my concern at what is perceived to be an attempt to predetermine the results of such a sensitive issue in the final-status negotiations.”

“I beg of you to refrain from adopting any position on the matter of Jerusalem,” Livni wrote. “I believe that the sides must return to the negotiating table from the point at which they were stopped between me and the Palestinians. Any attempt to dictate in advance the final result regarding Jerusalem is pointless and mistaken.”

"The process being led by Sweden,” reads the Foreign Ministry statement released on Tuesday, “harms the EU's ability to take part as a significant mediator in the political process between Israel and the Palestinians.”

In light of the announced construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, the Ministry says that the EU “must now exert pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Steps like those being led by Sweden only bring about the opposite result."

European Union foreign ministers are scheduled to meet next week in Brussels to discuss the Middle East diplomatic process. A statement outlining the body's Middle East policy is expected to be released afterwards. There have been reports that the statement will include a call for the division of Jerusalem.