Ayalon: EU won�t cut our ties with Jerusalem

YNet News (Link) - Roni Sofer (December 19, 2009)

Jerusalem continues to be at heart of dispute between Israel, European Union: Foreign diplomats will not be able to sever Israel�s special connection with its capital, Jerusalem, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said Saturday, in response to earlier remarks by a top European official.

Catherine Ashton, the EU�s foreign affairs chief, referred to the Israeli capital as �occupied territory� at a speech given earlier this week, prompting Ayalon to state that �just as the Romans failed to severe Israel�s ties with Jerusalem, so will the EU�s and UN�s diplomats.�

Saturday�s comment by Ayalon also addressed the prospects of the Swedish initiative � declaring east Jerusalem the capital of the future Palestinian state � coming to pass despite the motion�s rejection by Israel.

�If any unilateral decisions are made it would be crossing a red line and Israel will no longer be obligated by any post�Oslo deals,� he said. Israel will also see such a move �as legitimizing unilateral moves on its part.�

As for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Ayalon said that �Abbas knows he can�t get anything else out of the current government and apparently, he�s not really interested in peace.

�He is trying to blame Israel for his refusal to progress towards peace,� Ayalon said.