Foreign Minister fears greater instability in Middle East following opening of embassy

'I am concerned that the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital could lead to greater instability in the region and make it more difficult to bring the parties to the negotiating table. Norway's view has been clearly conveyed to the US authorities,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Norway, like most of its like-minded countries, was not represented at the Israeli ceremony to mark the US Embassy move. Nor was Norway represented at the opening of the Embassy yesterday.

Jerusalem is home to holy sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims. The city has great symbolic importance, and Israelis and Palestinians both claim it as their capital.

'The status of Jerusalem and other important outstanding issues must be resolved through negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Moving the Norwegian Embassy is not in line with Norway's policy. The US and Israel are well aware of Norway's position on this matter,' said Ms Eriksen Søreide.