E.U. Endorses Jerusalem as a 'Two-State' Capital

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The European Union has endorsed a watered-down foreign policy declaration calling for Jerusalem to become the capital of two states.

Israel invested major efforts to persuade the E.U. to back off from the foreign policy declaration that in essence calls for the division of Jerusalem.

The original Swedish draft called for a state of Palestine "with east Jerusalem as its capital."

On Tuesday, E.U. ministers said they would "not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem other than those agreed by the parties."

From 1948 to 1967 Jerusalem was divided. Israel united the city under its control during the 1967 Six-Day War and considers the entire city to be its capital forever.

But the E.U. declaration says, "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."

The E.U. also said it is seriously concerned about the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process.

The 27-member bloc called for the "urgent resumption" of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that would lead to a two-state solution.

However, Israel says the declaration would have the opposite effect.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says the declaration will not promote Israeli-Palestinian talks.

"A one-sided declaration is not going to be helpful in bringing the sides together in order to achieve progress toward peace," Ayalon argued. "And I do not think that one-sided resolutions, which have been consistently put against Israel is the right and it's certainly not helpful."

The declaration did take note of Israel's recent 10-month freeze on building in Judea and Samaria - the West Bank.

Still, the declaration said the freeze didn't go far enough. It urged a complete halt to all building including natural growth in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

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