Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

'EU parliament vote will determine heart and soul of Europe for years to come'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Have your fish and eat it: Can British fishing fleets net a Brexit bonus?

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Must never happen again': Australia apologises to victims of state sex abuse

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Italy determined to stick to budget plan despite EU warnings

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Journalist Sofia Amara on meeting IS group leader's ex-wife and daughter

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Inside the mind of Bashar al-Assad: Author explores brutal dictatorship

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Dancing nuns, skateboarding in Nepal, and more

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon elections: Constitutional court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

Europe

EU tells Netanyahu it won't follow Trump's lead on Jerusalem

© John Thys / AFP | Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at a press conference in Brussels on December 11, 2017.

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-12-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the EU on Monday to back a new U.S. peace initiative in the Middle East, after President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital met with widespread condemnation.

Netanyahu, making the first official visit by an Israeli premier to the EU's Brussels headquarters in 22 years, told reporters that recognizing Jerusalem merely stated the reality on the ground. He said he expected many European countries to follow Trump's lead.

But EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who chaired talks between Netanyahu and EU foreign ministers, said no European leaders plan to adopt the U.S. president's position.

Netanyahu insisted that, in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, "what President Trump has done is put facts squarely on the table. Peace is based on reality."

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital, no one can deny it. It doesn't obviate peace, it makes peace possible," he said.

The Israeli leader added that he believed most European countries would now "move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

Reacting to Netanyahu's remarks, Mogherini said EU ministers were concerned about Trump's move.

"We do not wish to see a discredited U.S. administration when it comes to the negotiations in the Middle East," she said.

As far as EU member countries relocating their embassies in Israel, Mogherini was quick to disabuse Netanyahu of the idea.

"He can keep his expectations for others, because from the European Union member states' side, this move will not come," she said.

Nevertheless, Mogherini and other ministers were impatient to hear details of any U.S. peace initiative in the pipeline. The EU's top diplomat said the time-frame for any new plan and who might be involved do not appear to have been worked out.

"Both the horizon and the framework appear still to be determined," Mogherini said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "They've announced to us some kind of American initiative. We've been waiting for several months. If it's not the case, then perhaps the European Union should take the initiative, but it's too early to say."

"Everyone knows that the resolution of the Middle East crisis goes through negotiations and the recognition of two states," he said.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Jerusalem "could be the capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state, but that has to be negotiated between the two parties."

Reynders said that as the biggest aid donor to the Palestinians and a major partner of Israel, the European Union has "a particular role to play" in encouraging a political solution to the conflict.

(AP)

Date created : 2017-12-12

  • FRANCE - ISRAEL

    Macron urges Netanyahu to 'show courage' over Palestinian peace process

    Read more

  • USA - ISRAEL

    'Deplorable and unacceptable': Trump provokes diplomatic firestorm over Jerusalem

    Read more

  • JERUSALEM

    A disputed capital: Why the status of Jerusalem is so contentious

    Read more

COMMENT(S)