A compilation photo of Federica Mogherini and Donald Trump.
(photo credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ&JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – After stating for a week that the final status of Jerusalem should be determined by Israelis and Palestinians in direct negotiations, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs said on Tuesday that she has committed to the Palestinian Authority she will work toward its division.
The EU’s Federica Mogherini said she “guaranteed” in a phone call with PA President Mahmoud Abbas that Europe would work to ensure the city is shared by Israel and Palestinians in a future two-state solution. That position is a welcome one to the Palestinians, but a challenge to Israel, which insists the city will remain its undivided, eternal capital.
"Last week I spoke with President Abbas and guaranteed that the European Union would continue to work for Jerusalem to be the capital of both the state of Israel, and a state of Palestine," Mogherini said. The EU embassy in Jerusalem noted to The Jerusalem Post
that Mogherini was stating the organization's longstanding position on the city.
“Our partners know very well where we stand, and we have made it very clear,” Mogherini said. She consulted with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser leading the Trump administration’s Middle East peace initiative, in recent days.
EU's Mogherini warns of consequences of US moving embassy to Jerusalem
In those conversations, she encouraged the US to continue in its efforts to forge peace in the region – but highlighted the roles of others going forward, including that of Europe. She characterized the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “very difficult days” and the “darkest hours” for Mideast envoys.
Trump’s decision “risks to strengthen radical forces in the region and weaken forces of moderation,” she said.
Mogherini hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels
on Monday. She said they had an “open and frank” discussion, as good friends do, over their disagreements, and that she relayed to the prime minister that Europe’s embassies in Israel would remain in Tel Aviv.