Chrystia Freeland
Chrystia FreelandReuters

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, refrained on Wednesday from supporting U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, but also did not harshly criticize the move as other countries had done.

‘‘Canada is a steadfast ally and friend of Israel and friend to the Palestinian people. Canada’s longstanding position is that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute,” she said in a statement.

"We are strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel,” Freeland added.

"We call for calm and continue to support the building of conditions necessary for the parties to find a solution."

On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made clear that the Canadian embassy in Israel would remain in Tel Aviv.

"We will not be moving Canada's embassy from Tel Aviv," he said during a visit to Guangzhou, China.

While Canada did not back Trump’s move, its reaction was much more softly worded than those of some of European countries.

The European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, warned on Thursday that Trump's decision could take the region "backwards to even darker times".

"President Trump's announcement on Jerusalem has a very worrying potential impact. It is a very fragile context and the announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we're already living in," she told a press conference in Brussels.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the British government disagreed with Trump's decision, adding it was "unhelpful" for peace efforts.

"We disagree with the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital," she said in a statement. "We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said through her spokesman that she "does not support" Trump's reversal of decades of U.S. policy.

"The status of Jerusalem can only be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution," her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, wrote on Twitter.

French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, branded Trump's stance as "regrettable" and called for efforts to "avoid violence at all costs".

Macron affirmed "the attachment of France and Europe to the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within internationally recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states."