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- Statement by PLO Secretary-General Dr. Saeb Erekat on News Reports Regarding Possible US Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
Statement by PLO Secretary-General Dr. Saeb Erekat on News Reports Regarding Possible US Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
Jerusalem is the social, political, cultural, religious and economic heart of Palestine. It is also the heart of billions of believers from the three monotheistic religions, including hundreds of millions of Arab Christians and Muslims. It is, therefore, the heart of the Arab World. It is a significant symbol of our region and its fate is key to any efforts leading to a peaceful and stable region.
When in 1988 the PLO took the painful and historic decision to recognize the 1967 border as those of the State of Palestine, it did so understanding that this would be a step towards peace. At the same time, the PLO was affirmative that there would be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital. This step was taken in accordance with international law and UN Security Council resolutions that clearly state that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel and that its illegal annexation of the city, as well as the measures taken to implement such an illegal move, are null and void.
If the US Administration decides to contradict its international commitments and historic foreign policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it is not only going to promote international anarchy and disrespect for global institutions and law, but it will also be disqualifying itself to play any role in any initiative towards achieving a just and lasting peace.
If such a decision is announced, it will contribute to the further destabilization of the region and will discourage many of those who still believe that a peaceful solution is achievable to end over 50 years of Israeli occupation, 70 years of exile and decades of systematic violations of Palestinian national and human rights.
President Abbas has been in contact with several world leaders to assess the situation and encourage them to take action in order not to allow for those initiatives to materialize into a new political reality. The Palestinian leadership is going to meet soon in order to approve necessary steps in case such an announcement is made.