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Russia Says West Jerusalem Is Israel's Capital

PM Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Despite talk of moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no nation in the world recognizes the Holy City as Israel's capital...until today. The Jerusalem Post's Herb Keinon reports that, in a surprising move, Russia now says that west Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state:

Russia recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated in a surprise announcement on Thursday, obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post.

The announcement comes as US President Donald Trump's administration is agonizing over whether to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would constitute recognizing west Jerusalem as the country's capital. No other country in the world recognizes any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry reads, “We reaffirm our 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.”

This is a sharp shift in Russian policy, which until now has formally held that Jerusalem should eventually be under a permanent international regime. The statement appears in English on the Russian Foreign Ministry's Russian web site.

While officials in Jerusalem interpreted this to mean that recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will only come once east Jerusalem becomes the capital of a Palestinian state, The Jerusalem Post has learned that Moscow intends this recognition to go into effect immediately.

Russia's ambassador to Israel will meet with Foreign Ministry officials in the coming days to discuss Moscow's decision and its ramifications...

Tags: Russia , Israel

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