European governments refuse to follow Trump on status of Jerusalem


European foreign ministers have strongly rejected calls by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to follow Donald Trump’s example and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Opposition from across the European spectrum came as Netanyahu made the first official trip to the EU by a sitting Israeli premier in 22 years. Even the Czech Republic, one of Israel’s closest allies, said the US president’s decision was bad for peace efforts. France said Jerusalem’s status could be agreed only in a final deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Netanyahu called on European governments to back a much-mooted US peace initiative despite the fact that Trump has yet to reveal any details about it. Making clear that the EU would not write a blank cheque for an unseen Trump peace plan, France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, urged Washington to disclose what was being drawn up by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser. “We’ve been waiting already for several months for the American initiative, and if one is not forthcoming then the European Union will have to take the initiative,” Le Drian said.

Arriving for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Netanyahu said Trump’s move made peace in the Middle East possible “because recognising reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace”. He said all, or most, European countries would move their embassies to Jerusalem and recognise it as Israel’s capital, though there is no evidence that any European country is preparing to do so.(theguardian)…[+]

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