World

Israeli PM expects Europeans to follow Trump in recognising Jerusalem

BRUSSELS: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visiting the European Union, praised United States President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as his country's capital and said he expected Europeans to follow suit.

"It makes peace possible because recognising reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace," said Mr Netanyahu as he was greeting EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini before meeting EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

"There is now an effort to bring forward a new peace proposal by the American administration. I think we should give peace a chance."

Mr Netanyahu said Mr Trump's move, condemned by the Palestinians and by Europe, should be emulated by them.

"It is time that the Palestinians recognise the Jewish state and also recognise the fact that it has a capital. It is called Jerusalem," he said.

"I believe that, even though we don't have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future.

"I believe that all, or most, of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace."

CONSENSUS

Ms Mogherini, welcoming Mr Netanyahu on the first visit to the EU by an Israeli premier in 22 years, said the bloc would continue to recognise the "international consensus" on Jerusalem.

She repeated the EU's commitment to a two-state solution and that it was in Israel's interest to find a sustainable solution to the Palestinian conflict.

The EU, she said, would step up its peace efforts and hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas next month. She also condemned attacks on Israel and on Jews worldwide.

Her remarks come after Mr Netanyahu criticised Europe for "hypocrisy" for condemning Mr Trump's announcement but not rockets fired into Israel from Gaza following the US leader's declaration. - REUTERS

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