Europe has urged Israel to negotiate over the status of Jerusalem. The EU foreign ministers say Jerusalem needs to be not only the capital of Israel but of a future Palestinian state. The ministers in Brussels said several issues needed to be addressed if any progress were to be made on resolving Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
While Israel considers Jerusalem — a city holy to three religions — to be its indivisible capital, outgoing EU presidency Sweden said: “There has to be negotiation on everything, all of the issues are on the table. And we say that we will not recognise any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by the parties. That includes Jerusalem. So we call on a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.” Israel rejects this position. The city’s mayor, before the EU meeting said: “Dividing Jerusalem, focusing on the differences in a city that is looking at the common denominator will never work and there’s not one good example in the world for that kind of idea.” In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. The EU reiterated that it has never recognised Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem, and said West Bank settlement building must end. It calls Israeli authorities’ treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem “discriminatory”.