EU’s Mogherini urges solution to Jerusalem church row
The EU's foreign policy chief on Monday said she hopes to a speedy solution can be found to the crisis over East Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre closing in protest of Israel’s new tax policy, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
“We hope that a solution can be found quickly. Jerusalem is a holy city to the three monotheistic religions. This special status and character of the city must be preserved and respected by all,” Federica Mogherini told a press conference in Brussels with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi
On Sunday East Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre closed in protest of a new tax policy imposed by Israeli authorities.
Palestinian Christian leaders say the move aims to protest plans by the Jerusalem Municipality to levy taxes on church properties and a proposed bill in the Israeli parliament that would make it harder for them to sell property.
Mogherini added that the Middle East peace process will be discussed during her meeting with the foreign ministers and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
On Israeli-Palestinian relations, Mogherini said “a negotiated two-state solution with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, Israel and Palestine, is the only viable and realistic way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties and achieve long-term peace.”
Mogherini stressed that all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal and block chances peace.
“We have also called on all sides to prevent violence and incitement and take constructive steps to advance the two-state reality on the ground and create the conditions for successful negotiations.”
Safadi, for his part, said Jerusalem must be remade an icon of peace.
“However,” Safadi continued, “This will not be possible if Jerusalem is under occupation, fear, and desperation.”
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