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December 13, 2017 6:51 pm

India, China and Russia Refrain From Recognizing East Jerusalem as Capital of Palestine in Joint Statement

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj (C) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands before the start of their meeting in New Delhi. Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi.

Foreign ministers from India, Russia and China notably refrained from recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine at their annual meeting in New Delhi this week – seven days after the US recognized the holy city as the capital of Israel.

The decision not to restate the position on Jerusalem long-held by all three countries was in marked contrast to their joint call at last year’s meeting in Moscow for a “sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.” At this year’s 15th annual meeting, their statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stressed support for “an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders,” without mentioning the issue of Jerusalem.

The absence of Jerusalem from Tuesday’s statement is particularly striking given the strident opposition to the US move in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Turkey and Iran, both of whom retain close diplomatic and security ties with all three countries, have led the denunciation of the US announcement on Jerusalem.

India in particular stands out for not having even taken a position on the US decision. Asked for clarification of India’s position on December 7, a spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry said simply, “India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.” Bilateral relations between Israel and India were handed an unprecedented boost by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high-profile visit to the Jewish state in July of this year.

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Russia’s individual position is also under scrutiny, following the announcement by its foreign ministry last April that Moscow was recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. At the time, the Russians stated their reaffirmation of their “commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” That statement went onto declare support “for the two-state solution as an optimal option that meets the national interests of the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom have friendly relations with Russia.”

Meanwhile, China’s official statement in response to Trump’s decision expressed strong concern at the security implications of the move but stopped short of full-throated condemnation. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry even implied that historic claims of exclusive Arab ownership of the city are not as clear-cut as Palestinian leaders might believe.

“The question over the status of Jerusalem is complicated and sensitive,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, following Trump’s recognition announcement. “All parties should be cautious in order to maintain peace. All parties should avoid shaking the long-term foundations of solving the Palestinian issues, and avoid creating new divisions in the region.”

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  • Dani

    Reading between lines. taking those statments as from where they come, understanding that these are the strongest world supporters of the Palestineans outside of the Moslem ranch, and considering that the combined population of these three countries count for almost half of world´s population this means that Jerusalem has been confirmed as the capital of Israel.

  • Esther Noodelman

    I agree withGeng Shuang ,the foreign minister of China,that following Trump”s recognition announcement ,all parties should be cautious in order maintain peace and avoid shaking the long term foundations of solving the Palestinian issues and avoid creating new divisions in the region.

  • Efram Paul

    That is great!

  • Face it – No Arab-Palestinian state west of the Jordan River
    If you read the 1917 Balfour Declaration (Which emulated Napoleons 1799 letter to the Jewish community in Palestine promising that The National Home for The Jewish people will be reestablished in Palestine, as the Jews are the rightful owners). Nowhere does it state an Arab entity west of The Jordan River. The San Remo Conference of 1920 which incorporated The Balfour Declaration into International Law does not state an Arab entity west of The Jordan River, confirmed by Article 95 in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne. The Mandate for Palestine terms does not state an Arab entity west of the Jordan River. It specifically states a Jewish National Home in Palestine without limiting the Jewish territory in Palestine. It also states that the British should work with the Jewish Agency as the official representative of the Jews in Palestine to implement the National Home of the Jewish people in Palestine. I stress again; nowhere does it state that an Arab entity should be implemented west of the Jordan River.
    As a matter of historical record, The British reallocated illegally over 77% of Jewish Palestine to the Arab-Palestinians in 1922 with specific borders and Jordan took over additional territory like the Gulf of Aqaba which was not part of the allocation to Jordan.

    No where in any of the above stated agreements does it provides for an Arab entity west of the Jordan River. The U.N. resolutions are non-binding with no legal standing, same applies to the ICJ. The Oslo Accords are null and void.

    It is time to relocate the Arabs in Israel to Jordan and to the homes and the 120,000 sq. km. the Arab countries confiscated from the over a million Jewish families that they terrorized and expelled and those expelled Jews were resettled in Israel. They can use the trillions of dollars in reparations for the Jewish assets to finance the relocation of the Arabs and help set-up an economy and industry instead of living on the world charity. The Arab countries were allocated over 13 million sq. km. with a wealth of oil reserves.
    YJ Draiman

    P.S. Possession is nine tenths of the law – Israel has it.
    Political Rights in Palestine aka The Land of Israel were granted only and exclusively to the Jews in all of Palestine and the right to settle in all of Palestine with no exclusions.

  • Anyanwu Emmanuel

    The sane world must not join in the mad recognition of East Jerusalem as capital of Palestinian !!!!

  • A.S.F.

    Given their reputations as “human rights giants” and beacons of tolerance and freedom themselves, is anyone really surprised?

  • noahnoah

    Jordan = Palestine = Jordan