ELNET expresses deep concern over the EU’s rejection of the decision by Serbia and Kosovo to place their embassies in Jerusalem. The decision was agreed upon as part of the US-brokered Serbia-Kosovo agreement. In his statement on September 7th, the EU’s spokesperson not only objected to the move but implied that breaking with the EU’s common position on Jerusalem could undermine the prospects of Serbia and Kosovo becoming EU members.
ELNET strongly believes it is high time the EU updates its position on Jerusalem and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem. While we recognize that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute over East Jerusalem ought to be resolved in negotiations, objecting to European embassies in any part of the Jerusalem completely defies reality. Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital city since Israel’s inception. Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s Presidency, government, parliament and Supreme Court and as such, is visited by every European leader visiting Israel on official business. Adhering to entirely anachronistic UN stipulations (such as the 1947 Partition Resolution which called for the internationalization of Jerusalem) and imposing this position on all its member states, erodes the EU’s ability to play a constructive role towards the desired outcome of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.