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EU calls for Jerusalem to be capital of both Palestine and Israel

Mogharini met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 6 December, 2017

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The European Union has responded to Donald Trump's plans to recognise Israel as the capital of Israel, saying the same be granted to Palestinian claims to the city.

European Union leaders have slammed President Donald Trump's plans to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying the same status should be granted to the Palestinians.

Chief EU diplomat Federica Mogherini said that changing the status of contested Jerusalem "must absolutely be avoided" but if it does the US should also recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

"A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states," she said.

But she warned of the dangers of the US plans and said Trump's announcement would undermine the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

Donald Trump is due to announce that the US will move its embassy to Jerusalem, breaking decades of international consensus on the issue with countries basing their diplomatic missions instead in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Trump has made it a campaign promise to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and his administration is considered the most pro-Israeli in US history.

The decision could likely lead to a violent backlash with Hamas promising a "day of rage" on Friday and warning the embassy move could lead to a new uprising by Palestinians against occupying Israeli forces.

The US has warned citizens to avoid travelling to occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank due to heightened tensions.

Arab allies of the US have all slammed the move with Cairo's al-Azhar - the highest seat of learning in Sunni Islam - warning the decision will "open the floodgates of hell" for the West.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and has tried to claim the city as its undivided capital.

Attempts by Israel to annex the occupied territories have been firmly opposed by the international community.

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