Russia Recognizes West Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the Capital of Future Palestinian State
|Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 | ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES|
Image of the Old City of Jerusalem showing the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) and the Dome of the Rock
Source: Living His Word, "Why Jerusalem Is Important," livinghisword.org (accessed Apr. 14, 2017)
On Apr. 6, 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement recognizing West Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, becoming the first country to recognize any part of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. In the same statement they also recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The Russian statement also reaffirmed its "support for the two-state solution as an optimal option that meets the national interests of the Palestinian and Israeli people."
Israel first declared Jerusalem to be its capital in 1950. In 1980, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, placing all of Jerusalem under its administrative control. However, according to the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, "all of Jerusalem (and not only East Jerusalem) is subject to permanent status negotiations," and with respect to East Jerusalem, "Israel has no right to any part of it."
Although Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, no country maintains an embassy in the city. The United States has had a long-standing policy that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved through the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv. However, there have recently been discussions within the Trump administration to consider the possibility of moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem. According to the Jerusalem Post, Russia is not currently considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
According to Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahson, Israel is currently "studying" the Russian statement recognizing West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Associated Press, "Israel 'Studying' Russian Statement on Jerusalem Recognition," nytimes.com, Apr. 6, 2017
Anna Borshchevskaya, "Putin's Self-Serving Israel Agenda," foreignaffairs.com, Apr. 13, 2017
Herb Keinon, "JPOST Exclusive: Moscow Surprisingly Says West Jerusalem Is Israel's Capital," jpost.com, Apr. 6, 2017
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, "Foreign Ministry Statement Regarding Palestinian-Israeli Settlement," mid.ru, Apr. 6, 2017
Negotiation Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, "Jerusalem," nad.ps (accessed Apr. 14, 2017)
Amir Tibon, "Mike Pence: Trump 'Seriously Considering' Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem," haaretz.com, Mar. 27, 2017
Nikita Vladimirov, "Russia Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital," thehill.com, Apr. 6, 2017