Presidency Statement on settlement expansion in East Jerusalem

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The Presidency of the European Union is dismayed at the announcement of the Government of Israel to build nearly 700 apartments in occupied East Jerusalem.

Settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law. The plans by the Israeli Government to expand such settlements contravene repeated calls from the international community, including those of the Quartet, and prevent the creation of an atmosphere conducive to resuming negotiations on a two-state solution. The Presidency of the European Union thus urges the Government of Israel to reconsider these plans.

The Presidency recalls that the European Union has never recognised the annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967. If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.