The decision by United States President Donald Trump to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city as Israel’s capital is an “obstacle to a just and lasting peace” in the region, the Swiss foreign ministry said on Thursday.
The Swiss reaction, which was communicated directly to the U.S. embassy in Bern on Thursday morning, follows much of the international community in condemning a move widely seen as destabilizing to peace-building efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Switzerland considers that, in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 478, any solution to the conflict in the Middle East must be based on a comprehensive and negotiated agreement on the final status of Jerusalem,” the foreign ministry wrote in a statement.
It also reiterated Swiss backing for a negotiated two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, in which Jerusalem as a disputed city plays a strategic and symbolic role.
Switzerland, in accordance with UN resolutions, does not recognize the authority of Israel over territories captured since 1967, which includes part of the city. No other country has an embassy in Jerusalem. Switzerland clearly stated that it would maintain its embassy in Tel Aviv.
President Trump’s recognition on Wednesday of Jerusalem’s status as Israeli capital reversed decades of U.S. policy in the region and has led to condemnation and heightened tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories and the MENA region.
The Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians on Thursday to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response.
Several states, activists, and international NGOs condemned the U.S. decision, saying it is tantamount to a definitive recognition of an Israeli annexation of Jerusalem.
(Source / 07.12.2017)