Thursday, December 3, 2009
EU to consider resolution recognizing East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital
Sweden has introduced a resolution to the European Union to be considered next week in Brussels that would call for the recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of any future Palestinian state. Israeli officials immediately condemned the proposal and said that it will harm negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
But Palestinians, who have little faith in 'negotiations' in which Palestinian rights are ignored, have welcomed the measure by the EU.
The move comes after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the controversial statement that "united Jerusalem will always be the capital of Israel", effectively denying any claim by the indigenous Palestinian population to the city.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement that the measure should have included a recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state.
The European Union would not comment on the proposal, as it is still in draft form and it is the body's policy not to comment unless all member countries are able to agree on a proposed measure.
Sweden did comment last week that it would be willing to recognize a Palestinian state if Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat were to go ahead with the declaration. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated, "We would be ready to recognize a Palestinian state but conditions are not there as of yet."
Source: Institute For Middle East Understanding