“I believe that all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace,” Netanyahu said in Brussels.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday expressed confidence that most European countries will follow the precedent set by President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“I believe that all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace,” Netanyahu said in Brussels ahead of a meeting with all 28 foreign ministers of European Union (EU) member states.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, reiterated the bloc’s policy of only recognizing the status of Jerusalem following the outcome of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
“The only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states with Jerusalem as the capital of both,” said Mogherini.
“We believe it is in Israel’s interest, especially its security interest, to find a sustainable and comprehensible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is why the European Union will increase its work…to relaunch the peace process, even if it seems [that these are] difficult times,” she said.
Before traveling to Brussels, Netanyahu met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. The Israeli leader acknowledged that he and Macron don’t “agree on everything,” but are “working on it.” Macron had called America’s Jerusalem policy changes “regrettable” and said the city’s status should be determined through negotiations.
Netanyahu responded by saying that “Paris is the capital of France. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It’s been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years. It’s been the capital of the Jewish state for 70 years,” Netanyahu declared, saying that Israel respects France’s history and its choices, “and we know that as friends, you respect ours.”
Netanyahu added that a recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “is also essential for peace.”
A few countries have shown support, including the Czech Republic which on Wednesday recognized western Jerusalem as the capital of Israel following Trump’s policy changes on the city.
The Czech government’s move on western Jerusalem follows the Czech Parliament’s approval of legislation in May that recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
In April, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a similar move to recognize “west Jerusalem” as the Israeli capital.
Earlier this week, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel announced that her country supports the US’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff