European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrive for a lunch with EU foreign ministers at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Olivier Hoslet, pool)
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The European Union assured President Mahmoud Abbas it supported his ambition to have East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state, in the bloc's latest rejection of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.At a meeting in Brussels with EU foreign ministers, Abbas repeated his call for East Jerusalem as capital as he urged EU governments to recognize a state of Palestine immediately, arguing that this would not disrupt negotiations with Israel on a peace settlement for the region.A parliamentarycommittee there is due to consider the issue on Jan. 31, but it remains unclear when the Parliament could recognize Palestine.That reflects the European Union's dual role as the Palestinians' biggest aid donor and Israel's biggest trade partner, even if EU governments reject Israeli settlements on land Israel has occupied since a 1967 war – including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
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