German Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued a public statement assuring that the country will not relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Her comments were made during an interview with Israeli TV on Sunday, maintaining Germany‚Äôs official rejection of a unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
‚ÄúWe have to work for the two-state solution, and, according to that, the status of Jerusalem should be clarified.‚ÄĚ Merkel said.
Chancellor Merkel argues that status, in-line with Bundestag policy, can only be established in the framework of a multilateral peace agreement.
Merkel‚Äôs statement comes as a rejection of official U.S. policy, which, last December, under President Trump, called for the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as well as beginning the process to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
‚ÄúIsrael is a sovereign nation…that has the right to determine its own capital,‚ÄĚ Trump said, ignoring the fact that Israel has occupied East Jerusalem for 50 years, in violation of international law.
Earlier this year, according to Ma’an, Chancellor Merkel questioned the progress being made toward such a peace agreement, stating that ‚ÄúIsrael‚Äôs current settlement policy contradicts applicable international law and is not supported by us because it impedes a two-state solution.‚ÄĚ
Chancellor Merkel‚Äôs statement came in response to a recent push from Petr Bystron, a member of Germany‚Äôs far-right AfD party, who, in recent days, has been aligning his party‚Äôs policies with that of the U.S. government in the relocation of Germany‚Äôs embassy to Jerusalem.
In December of 2017, Bystron issued a press release criticizing the German government‚Äôs vote in the United Nations General Assembly that deemed Trump‚Äôs announcement as redundant. The AfD, according to Bystron: ‚Äúvoiced its support for a strong and free Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.‚ÄĚ
Despite Bystron‚Äôs pro-Israel rhetoric, his far-right opposite party has been boycotted by the Israeli government, and local Jewish community in Germany for its racist, and xenophobic policy platform.
Official German policy states that: ‚ÄúOur goal is a two-state solution with a State of Israel‚Ä¶ as well as an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security. The status of Jerusalem, as well as other final status issues, will only be settled in the course of negotiations in order to be permanently accepted and durable.‚ÄĚ
(photo: German embassy in Tel Aviv, Wikipedia)