European division, Israeli pressure thwart Swedish J’lem proposal

Due to ongoing European disagreement over a Swedish proposal to make East Jerusalem the capital of an independent Palestinian state–along with relentless Israeli pressure against the plan–a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels Tuesday issued a statement calling on both Tel Aviv and Ramallah to mull ways of making the city the capital of both states.

At the meeting, European ministers objected to any alteration of the city’s 1967 borders, implying their rejection of the anticipated annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel.

According to diplomatic sources, the EU was keen to issue a "balanced statement" to avoid providing either side with an excuse to impede future peace talks. "We succeeded in striking a balance in the wording of the statement by assuring that Jerusalem’s final status should be determined by negotiations," said one source.

Palestinian Liberation Organization officials, for their part, considered the EU statement on Jerusalem and its borders to be "a step in the right direction."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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