MEPs debate US decision on Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital sparked different reactions from MEPs on Tuesday evening.

“Exploding the Middle East peace process status quo”, “going against international law”, “spreading hatred and fear” or “the diplomatic equivalent to nuclear bomb” were a few of the terms used by some MEPs to describe US President Trump’s decision, in a debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

However, other MEPs noted that the US president’s order to the State Department to start preparing to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem should not come as a surprise, as this was already decided by US Congress in 1995 and was also a pledge made during Mr. Trump’s election campaign. They urged for Israel’s security concerns to be respected and for more focus to be put on deradicalisation efforts rather than on Jerusalem’s status.

Ms. Mogherini stressed that there is no alternative to a two-state solution. The EU will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem and will not recognise it as the capital of Israel until a final settlement is reached. This was reiterated earlier this week, when EU28 foreign affairs ministers met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Brussels, she said.

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