EU affirms support for Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem

EU affirms support for Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem
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The European Union's top envoy, Federica Mogherini, reiterated her support on Monday for a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, dealing another blow to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mogherini repeated the support to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting in Brussels, according to Reuters.

“I want to reassure President Abbas of the firm commitment of the European Union to the two-state solution with Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two states,” Mogherini said, the same day Vice President Pence was visiting the city.

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Trump last month made the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking major international backlash and prompting Muslim and Arab leaders to say that the U.S. could no longer serve as a peace broker in the Middle East.

Pence visited Israel on Monday to address the Knesset, the Israeli legislature, where he told lawmakers there that the U.S. would move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, following through on another of Trump’s campaign promises sooner than expected.

Arab lawmakers protested Pence’s speech and were escorted out of the address.

The United Nations has been outspoken against Trump’s Jerusalem decision, voting last month to condemn the move. Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) Haley40 years of Iranian threats against Israel and few pay any attention Nikki Haley endorses term limits for Congress Pelosi: Kim 'big winner' of North Korea talks MORE slammed nations who voted to oppose the Jerusalem decision and threatened to withdraw financial contributions to the body.

Mogherini also said at the Brussels meeting that those involved in the Middle East peace process must speak and act “wisely,” according to Reuters.

“Clearly there is a problem with Jerusalem. That is a very diplomatic euphemism,” she said in reference to Trump’s decision, before Abbas arrived at the meeting.

Abbas called for the EU to recognize the state of Palestine, which senior EU diplomats told Reuters was unlikely, though he also said that Palestinians are “keen” on continuing talks.

“We are determined to reunite our people and our land,” he said, adding that there is “no contradiction” between recognizing an independent Palestinian state and resuming peace negotiations.