Britain’s top diplomat vowed that Jerusalem would be the ‘shared capital’ of Israel and a future Palestinian state to be founded as part of a comprehensive final status agreement, the British foreign office said Monday.
In a statement released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, it was revealed that the UK’s top diplomat, Boris Johnson, told a senior Palestinian Authority official that Jerusalem should be the “shared capital” of both Israel and a future Palestinian state.
Johnson told PA foreign affairs chief Riyad al-Maliki that the UK fully endorses the “two-state solution”, and believes the future Palestinian state should have Jerusalem as its capital.
“I reiterated the UK’s commitment to supporting the Palestinian people and the two-state solution, the urgent need for renewed peace negotiations, and the UK’s clear and longstanding position on the status of Jerusalem,” Johnson said.
“It should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”
"We disagree with the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement. We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region. The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it,” British premier Theresa May said in a statement.
“Our position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and long-standing: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states. In line with relevant Security Council Resolutions, we regard East Jerusalem as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” added May.
Johnson, a controversial figure in British politics who once served as Mayor of London, excoriated Israel last year for permitting the expansion of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, warning that Israel would be forced into an “apartheid system” if it did not enable the establishment of a Palestinian state.
"What we are saying is that you have to have a two-state solution or else you have a kind of apartheid system," Johnson said in an interview published in The Jerusalem Post.