EU, Arab League affirm Jerusalem must be joint capital

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi participate in a media conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Europa building in Brussels. EU foreign ministers met to debate ways to revive Middle East peace efforts and discuss the crisis in Venezuela. (AP)
Updated 26 February 2018
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EU, Arab League affirm Jerusalem must be joint capital

BRUSSELS: European Union and Arab League countries insist that Jerusalem must be the joint capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state, as the US prepares to move its embassy there in a step angering the Arab world.
Speaking after talks Monday between EU and Arab League foreign ministers, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the “special status and character of the city must be preserved.”
She said the two blocs also “see eye to eye” that there can only be a two-state solution to the conflict, with Israel and the Palestinians living side by side in peace.
The talks come as Washington prepares to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to a scaled-down, temporary facility that will open in Jerusalem in May.


Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

Updated 21 May 2019
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Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.
The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.
The kingdom “remains supportive of the brotherly Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights on their land as well as establishing an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Bahrain’s top diplomat said in a statement.
The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.
“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.
“We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”
The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have shown little interest in the US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.
Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the conference is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.
Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.
“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” Erekat said.