Pakistan supports Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders, Jerusalem as capital

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday backed Palestine’s demand for making Jerusalem as the capital of its independent state on the basis of pre-1967 borders, a statement released by the Foreign Office said.

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The announcement comes a day after US President Donald Trump presented his Middle East plan as a solution to one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.

The plan unveiled by Trump would allow the Palestinians to establish a capital on the outskirts of east Jerusalem but would leave most of the city under Israeli control. It also envisages a Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank, but would allow Israel to annex its settlements in the occupied territory.

The Foreign Office, in its statement today, said Pakistan has “seen the peace plan that the United States has presented for the Middle East”.

However, the FO clarified that while Pakistan “has consistently supported a two-state solution, as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions” it wants the “establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally-agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] as its capital”.

UN resolutions on the issue term all Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal and call for a solution based on borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with agreed land swaps.

“Pakistan continues to support a just and lasting solution of the Palestinian issue, through dialogue and negotiations,” the statement said.

It added that Pakistan wants a solution that “leads to the realisation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including the right of self-determination.”

According to Associated Press, the plan sides with Israel on key contentious issues that have bedeviled past peace efforts, including borders, and attaches nearly impossible conditions for granting the Palestinians their hoped-for state.

The plan prompted a lukewarm response from Europe and the UN, and a furious rebuke from key Muslim countries who denounced it as a betrayal of the Palestinians.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas — who had taken part in previous US-led peace talks with Israel but stayed away from Trump’s proposal — vowed that “this conspiracy deal will not pass”.

He pledged to “resist the deal in all its forms” after meeting with various Palestinian factions in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“Our people will take it to the dustbin of history,” he said.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, called it a historic breakthrough equal in significance to the country’s declaration of independence in 1948. “It’s a great plan for Israel. It’s a great plan for peace,” he said.

With input from Associated Press

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