Swiss government: Trump’s Jerusalem policy is an ‘obstacle to peace’

The recognition by the US of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is “an obstacle to a fair and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on a negotiated two-state solution”, the Swiss government said.

Swiss government: Trump’s Jerusalem policy is an 'obstacle to peace'
Jerusalem is a holy city for three religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP
Reacting to US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, the Swiss foreign office said any solution in the Middle East must be based on “a comprehensive negotiated agreement on the final status of Jerusalem that respects the rights and aspirations of all interested parties”.
“Switzerland does not recognize the authority of Israel beyond the 1967 borders and will work towards the establishment of a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital and based on the 1967 borders,” the Swiss government said.
“Switzerland will not recognize a change to the 1967 borders, including with regards to Jerusalem, unless it comes out of an agreement negotiated between the parties,” it added, saying Switzerland would maintain its embassy in Tel Aviv. 
Despite Washington’s unilateral decision, international humanitarian law regarding the rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem continues to apply, it added.
The government ended its statement by calling for all parties concerned to “renounce violence and any other action likely to contribute to undermining the prospect of a fair and lasting peace”. 
Trump’s decision reversed years of US policy on Jerusalem and sparked violent clashes in Palestinian territories on Thursday.
Since the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on other countries to follow Washington’s lead, but many US allies have condemned the move. 
Switzerland has for many years been involved in negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine.