Jerusalem status can be defined after border demarcation

The status of Jerusalem can be defined only after the borders between Israel and Palestine are demarcated and the refugee issue is resolved, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.

“There will be no solution (to resolving the status of Jerusalem) without the border demarcation and the resolution of the refugee problem,” Lavrov said.

Russia believes that West Jerusalem should belong to Israel while East Jerusalem should go to Palestinians while holy sites could be placed under international control, Lavrov said.

Any statements that Jerusalem will belong only to one side “will never work,” Lavrov said, adding that inter-state format was a solution to the problem.

The Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of West Bank, East Jerusalem, partially occupied by Israel, and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and want Israel to pull out its troops from the Palestinian territories occupied after the 1967 war.

Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to raise the issue of Jerusalem, which it says is the indivisible capital of the Jewish state.

The construction by Israel in the Jewish settlements located on the West Bank of the River Jordan is regarded as the main obstacle to the possible resumption of peace talks between Israel and Palestinians.

MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) 

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