Austria refuses to transfer its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said on Tuesday that his country will not transfer its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem like the United States.
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said on Tuesday that his country will not transfer its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem like the United States.

At a joint press conference in Ramallah with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, Van der Bellen said: “We will not take such a step in this regard”.

He added: “With regard to Palestine, our country is linked to EU policy.”

In addition, Van der Bellen criticised the US administration’s decision last year to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

“We support the two-state solution through negotiations,” he said, describing relations between Austria and Palestine as “close”.

Last year, US President Donald Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transferred the Washington Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ramallah reacted by rejecting any American mediation in the moribund Middle East peace process.

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