Russia opens a diplomatic representation in Jerusalem

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The Russian embassy and an Israeli Foreign Ministry official said on Friday that the Russian embassy in Israel will open a branch office in Jerusalem as part of an agreement with the city.

The Russian embassy in Israel said in a statement that a deal regarding a piece of land in West Jerusalem, which Russia bought in 1885, settled with the Jerusalem municipality on May 18, after years of procedures.

The statement stated that the plot of land will be used for the construction of a building complex for the consular section of the embassy.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel, which captured East Jerusalem in the six days war in 1967 and later annexed it, considers the city its eternal, indivisible capital.

The Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.

The international community doesn’t recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, and maintains that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations.

While most foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv, four opened in Jerusalem after the United States recognized the city as Israel’s capital in 2017.

The move, which bucked decades of US policy, delighted Israel and angered Palestinians, who say it violates international law and could undermine chances for an independent Palestinian state.

When former US President Donald Trump announced his country’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his deep concern and said that such steps could undermine the prospects for the peace process in the Middle East.

However, the Russian embassy’s statement on Friday said the opening of a branch office in Jerusalem is in line with our country’s firm path towards a just settlement in the Middle East.

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