Theresa May to speak to Donald Trump about recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Theresa May to speak to Donald Trump about recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Prime Minister says 'status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians'

Theresa May has said she intends to speak to Donald Trump about his expected recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The Prime Minister said the ancient city should ultimately be shared between Israel and a future Palestinian state, amid growing unease over the American president's proposal to move the US embassy in Israel.

Mr Trump is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday on the plans, first proposed during his presidential election campaign.

Talk of the move has prompted condemnation around the world and sparked fears of violence and demonstrations, while the Palestinians' chief representative to Britain warned it would be the "kiss of death to the two-state solution".

"I'm intending to speak to President Trump about this matter," Ms May said during Prime Minister's Questions. "The status of Jerusalem should be determined.

She said there should be a sovereign and viable Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also voiced "concern" over Mr Trump's expected announcement, seen by Palestinians as the White House abandoning decades of neutrality on the Middle East peace process to side with Israel.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived for a Nato summit in Brussels, Mr Johnson made clear that the UK has no intention of following Mr Trump's lead by moving its own embassy from Tel Aviv.

He said: "Let's wait and see what the president says exactly, but we view the reports that we have heard with concern, because we think that Jerusalem obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a negotiated settlement that we want to see.

"We have no plans ourselves to move our embassy."

The diplomatic status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, with the city's holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital and Palestinians want a number of areas of the city as part of any future state.

Middle Eastern leaders have warned the US recognising the city is Israel's capital could lead to a "major catastrophe".

US officials insist recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be an acknowledgement of “historical and current reality” rather than a political statement.

They note that almost all of Israel’s government agencies and parliament are in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv, where the US and other countries maintain embassies.

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