Jerusalem final status to be negotiated by Israelis, Palestinians: Tillerson

IANS 09 Dec, 2017 International ,
 Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson

Paris, Dec 9 – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday said the final status of Jerusalem would be decided by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators despite US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the holy city as the capital of Israel.

“The President did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem,” Tillerson told reporters here at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Efe reported.

“He was very clear, I think, the final status of Jerusalem, including the borders, would be left to the parties to negotiate and decide,” he added.

On Wednesday, the US president broke with decades of Washington policy by acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He decided to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city which has been a sensitive issue in peace talks and the main subject of disagreement between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators for decades.

Trump’s declaration triggered wide criticism and opposition from Arab and Muslim countries and upset major Western powers.

Palestinians held protests on Friday in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem over the US move. At least one Palestinian was killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers.

To the US Secretary of State, moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be made in a “determined way”. However, it would take time.

“It’s not something that will happen this year or even probably next year,” said Tillerson, who was on the final stop of his trip to Europe.

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