The US gives a cold shoulder to a European Union communiqué urging Jerusalem Al-Quds be divided between Palestinians and Israelis.
On Tuesday, European foreign ministers decided to reduce a Swedish-brokered statement on Jerusalem Al-Quds as the capital of the Palestinian state into a call on the disputed city to be “the future capital of the two states.”
“We are aware of the EU statement, but our position on Jerusalem is clear. We believe that is a final-status issue,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley said in a daily press briefing late on Tuesday.
“This is best addressed inside a formal negotiation among the parties directly,” he told reporters.
He said Washington’s first priority was to find a solution to the existing deadlock in the Middle East peace talks and “get the process moving forward again.”
The remarks come in accord with Israel’s dismissal of the EU statement.
The EU minister’s resolution voiced Europe’s concern over the situation in East Jerusalem Al-Quds and called upon all sides to avoid provocations.
It continued to call on Israel to halt its discriminatory practices against Palestinian residents as well as to re-open Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem Al-Quds.
The document, however, significantly stepped back from the original proposal presented by Sweden, the current holder of the rotating EU presidency, which supported the recognition of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem Al-Quds as its capital.
Israel claims Jerusalem Al-Quds as its “eternal, indivisible” capital.
A recently passed freeze on Israel’s illegal construction projects in the West Bank does not include Jerusalem Al-Quds, giving the go-ahead for the continuation of settlement expansion in the city which hosts the Muslim world’s third holy site.