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European Union is against relocation of US embassy to Jerusalem
Tuesday January 17, 2017 9:29 PM, IINA

Federica Mogherini
[European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, seen at a meeting of EU defense ministers. (Wall Street Journal)]

European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini on Monday advised the incoming Donald Trump administration against moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, expressing concerns about a possible worldwide popular backlash, AFP reported.

"I believe that it is very important for us all to refrain from unilateral actions, especially those that have serious consequences in large sectors of public opinion in large parts of the world," Mogherini told a press conference in Brussels when asked about Trump's stated plans.

"We hope that there can be reflection on consequences of any move that is taken," she added.

She said that the EU delegation will keep its embassy in Tel Aviv and continue to respect UN resolutions opposing Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of a future state.

Mogherini said at first she could not answer a hypothetical question when Trump does not actually enter office until Friday and no decision has been taken yet on moving the embassy.

But she added: "For sure I'm worried that large parts of public opinion in parts of the world that are quite significant -- the Arab world but also Africa, Asia and parts of Europe -- could have in reaction of a move that for sure would not be in line with ... the international consensus."

Mogherini cited the consensus embodied in UN Security Council resolution 478 of 1980 which opposed Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem as part of its undivided capital.

Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 war and later annexed it -- in a move not recognized by the international community -- declaring all of the city its unified capital.

The EU foreign affairs chief also described the weekend Middle East peace conference in Paris as "useful" for reconfirming international support for a two-state solution, even if neither the Israelis nor Palestinians attended.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault earlier said that if Trump were to move the US embassy to Jerusalem the move would constitute a "provocation."


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