Deeply concerned over decision on Jerusalem

‘I am deeply concerned that the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could lead to greater instability in the region and push the parties further away from the negotiation table,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

‘The outstanding issues in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians must be resolved through negotiations. This applies not least to the issue of Jerusalem’s status,’ said Eriksen Søreide.

Over the last few days, uncertainty about the US decision have caused strong political reactions both in the region and internationally. The status of Jerusalem is complicated because two peoples claim the city as their capital. Jerusalem is also home to holy sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims. It is the ‘universal city’, and has great symbolic importance.

 ‘There is an urgent need to start real negotiations between the parties. Norway will continue to support the efforts to negotiate a two-state solution.

 ‘Without a negotiated two-state solution, it will not be possible to achieve lasting peace between the parties. It is therefore important that President Trump has expressed support for a two-state solution and emphasised that the Jerusalem issue must be resolved through negotiations,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

In 1995, the US Congress decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Since then, successive US presidents have signed a waiver every six months to postpone both US recognition of Jerusalem and the transfer of the Embassy.