Abbas wins EU backing for Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem


The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini assured President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting in Brussels on Monday that the EU supported his ambition to have East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state.
Abbas in return repeated his call for East Jerusalem as capital as he urged the EU member nations to recognize state of Palestine immediately, arguing that this would not disrupt negotiations with Israel on a peace settlement for the region.
Mogherini, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, called on those involved in the process to speak and act “wisely,” with a sense of responsibility.
Abbas made no reference to Trump’s move on Jerusalem or to comments on the issue made on Monday in Jerusalem by US Vice President Mike Pence.
The European Union’s top diplomat said EU foreign ministers will study ways to support a two-state solution in Israel and the Palestinian territories in talks Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Federica Mogherini said that the EU is working “to support an international framework to accompany direct negotiations” despite the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Mogherini told reporters that “clearly there is a problem with Jerusalem. I would say that this is a very diplomatic euphemism.”
She said “the only pragmatic, realistic solution for Jerusalem has to come through direct negotiations.”—Reuters

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