EU envoys to UN voice disapproval of U.S. shift on Jerusalem issue

French Ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre (C), flanked with German Ambassador to UN Christoph Heusgen (1st L), British Ambassador to UN Matthew Rycroft (2nd L), Swedish Ambassador to UN Olof Skoog (2nd R) and Italian Ambassador to UN Sebastiano Cardi, reads a joint declaration at the UN headquarters in New York, Dec. 8, 2017. Ambassadors of European Union (EU) countries to the United Nations issued a joint declaration on Friday to show disapproval of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and to call for calm in the Middle East. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) — Ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy, Sweden, and Germany to the United Nations issued a joint declaration on Friday to show disapproval of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

“We disagree with the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to begin preparation to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” the statement said.

The five ambassadors said the U.S. decision “is not in line with Security Council resolutions and is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”

They also said they consider “East Jerusalem as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

It is a “constant position of EU members” that the status of Jerusalem must be determined through “negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians leading to a final status agreement,” according to the declaration.

Jerusalem should ultimately be the capital of both Israeli and Palestinian states. Until then, the five countries recognize no sovereignty over Jerusalem, it said.

“We note the commitment made by President Trump to support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides and his clear acknowledgement that the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem must be subject to negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” the statement read.

“We encourage the U.S. administration to now bring forward detailed proposals for an Israel-Palestinian settlement,” noted the declaration.

The five countries also called on all parties and all regional stakeholders to “work together to maintain calm,” given the “volatile situation on the ground.”

The declaration was issued at the conclusion of a Security Council emergency meeting on the issue of Jerusalem.

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