EU Backs Off, Calls for ‘Negotiations’ for Divided Jerusalem
European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers have rejected a Swedish proposal to declare eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian Authority state but called for virtually the same result through “negotiations.”
Although the EU Foreign Ministers dropped a reference that defined a future PA state as including eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, they stated, “The EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including those with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed to by the parties."
The PA has repeated statedly that it will not return to talks with Israel unless it is understood that a new Arab state includes all of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas also has refused to acknowledge that Israel is a “Jewish State.”
The EU Foreign Ministers stated that "a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states." They added that the EU “is seriously concerned about the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process. The EU calls for the urgent resumption of negotiations that will lead ... to a two-state solution."
The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that the EU declaration “ignores the primary obstacle to achieving a resolution between Israel and the Palestinians--the Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiating table. Given the Israel Government's efforts to renew the negotiations, Israel regrets that the EU has chosen to adopt a text that, although containing nothing new, does not contribute to the renewal of negotiations.”
European Jewish Congress president Dr. Moshe Kantor said, "Although the declaration goes some way to correcting the unprecedented proposals by the Swedes, it is still extremely lopsided towards the Palestinian point of view. This will only embolden the Palestinians by sending them the message that they don’t need to negotiate because they will receive everything on a silver platter. It also ignores the fact that Israel has repeatedly called for immediate and direct negotiations without preconditions, something repeatedly ignored by the Palestinian.”
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has suspended all dialogue, explicitly stating that “time is on his side” and he can wait until his conditions are met.