Statement by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn after the announcement by the President of the United States regarding Jerusalem

Communiqué – Publié le

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn regrets the decision of the President of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This unilateral decision announced on 6 December 2017 is not in conformity with the resolutions of the United Nations on Jerusalem.

Minister Asselborn notes that the status of Jerusalem is not only a complex legal issue, but that it has an important political and religious dimension. With its holy sites, Jerusalem resonates emotionally with Israelis and Palestinians, the Arab countries and the world as a whole.

The Minister recalls that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must notably be based, in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 478 (1980), on a negotiated comprehensive settlement for the final status of Jerusalem, which respects the rights and aspirations of both parties.

In this context, the Minister underlines the common European position on the question of Jerusalem, which has been defined, since the Declaration of the European Council made in Venice on 13 June 1980, in the following terms: "The nine recognize the special importance of the role played by the question of Jerusalem for all the parties concerned. The nine stress that they will not accept any unilateral initiative designed to change the status of Jerusalem and that any agreement on the city’s status should guarantee freedom of access for everyone to the holy places."

The question of the status of Jerusalem will have to be resolved in the framework of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, realizing the vision of two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within secure and recognized borders.

A two-State solution, negotiated and based on the borders of 1967, is the only way to create a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations rightly recalled yesterday. The position of the European Union is based on the well-known parameters for the final status, including the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two States. It is important to keep this political horizon, and we hope that the United States can lend their full support to the two-State solution, mentioned yesterday by the President of the United States.

Minister Asselborn joins the calls of the international community for the actors on the ground and the leaders in the region to show calm and restraint, in order to avoid a new eruption of violence and any other action that would only hamper the prospects of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Communiqué par le ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes