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UN Security Council to meet Friday on Jerusalem

Press Trust of India, Washington, Dec 7 2017, 9:53 IST
The talks -- requested by eight nations -- will begin at 10:00 am, but there are other items on the agenda, so the Jerusalem issue may not come up until the late morning, the council's Japanese presidency said.

The talks -- requested by eight nations -- will begin at 10:00 am, but there are other items on the agenda, so the Jerusalem issue may not come up until the late morning, the council's Japanese presidency said.

The United Nations Security Council has convened a meeting on Friday in the wake of the US President Donald Trump announcing his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

At least eight of the 15 members of the Security Council, including Britain and France - the two permanent members which closely align themselves on most of the global issues - joined by other non-permanent members -- Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay -- asked for a special meeting of the top decision-making wing of the New York-headquartered world body.

The UN Secretary General Antnio Guterres is expected to address the Security Council on Friday.

Earlier in a statement, Guterres said that Jerusalem was the final status issue and must be resolved through direct negotiations.

"In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B," he said, adding that he has consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would "jeopardise" the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

"Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides," Guterres said.

Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing decades of US and international policy on the holy city. He also directed the State Department to immediately begin the process of construction of a US Embassy in Jerusalem.

His announcement has outraged several countries.

Many of American allies and partners have criticised Trump for the controversial decision.

British Prime Minister Theresa May in a statement said she disagreed with the US announcement to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise 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," she said.

May stressed that the status of Jerusalem should be "determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis the Palestinians".

"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," she said, adding that "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," May said.

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