“Even in good times” the status of Jerusalem had not been up for debate, said Gabriel, because it was a question to be decided “between the Palestinians and Israelis right at the end”. The fact that the US has now taken a unilateral stance on this sensitive issue, continued the Minister, risked pouring oil on the flames.
“President Trump announced on Wednesday evening (6 December) that the US would officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and start the process of moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Gabriel stressed that Germany was not going to move its Embassy: “We stand by the two-state solution and believe that the question of Jerusalem’s status must be clarified between the parties to the conflict right at the end of the process.”
Foreign Minister Gabriel said that, even in the wake of Trump’s decision, Germany and the European Union needed to stick to their own positions on the Jerusalem issue. He announced that he would be discussing the matter further with his European partners in the next few days. “This will be an important item on the agenda” at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on 11 December, continued the Minister.