By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
The Czech Republic said it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital but also the capital of a future Palestinian state Wednesday, following the controversial move from the U.S. administration to become the first country to do so.
“The Czech Republic currently, before the peace between Israel and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem to be in fact the capital of Israel in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967,” a Czech foreign ministry statement said.
The statement, which partly contradicts an earlier statement from the EU, also said it recognizes the city as the future capital of a Palestinian state.
“The Czech Republic together with other EU member states, following the EU Foreign Affaires Council Conclusions, considers Jerusalem to be future capital of both states, meaning the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine,” the statement said.
The European Union earlier raised concerns over the U.S. announcement on Jerusalem’s status, saying it might affect the peace process.
“The EU position remains unchanged. The aspirations of both parties must be fulfilled and a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states,” EU foreign chief Federica Mogherini said.
She said the EU and its member states would "continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem embodied in, inter alia, UNSCR 478, including on the location of their diplomatic representations until the final status of Jerusalem is resolved".
“The Ministry can start considering moving of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only based on results of negotiations with key partners in the region and in the world,” the Czech foreign ministry added.