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Black Sea economic delegations lambast US embassy move to Jerusalem — MP

May 17, 2018, 0:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On Monday, the US embassy to Israel was officially inaugurated in a celebratory ceremony in Jerusalem, sparking widespread protests among Palestinians

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MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. All the delegations that attended a meeting marking the 25th anniversary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) condemned the US’ decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Vice Speaker of the State Duma (lower house of Russia’s parliament) Pyotr Tolstoy, who was leading the Russian delegation, said on Wednesday.

"All the delegations of the BSEC member states have condemned the developments in Palestine and the US decision that caused human losses. We think that international legal norms and the UN decisions should be observed. Unilateral steps in the world’s politics are inadmissible today," Tolstoy said cited by his press service.

At the Istanbul meeting of the parliamentary speakers of members of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), the Russian delegation brought together Leonid Slutsky, the chair of the State Duma foreign affairs committee, and Mikhail Yemelyanov, the deputy head of the A Just Russian faction, among others.

According to Tolstoy, Russian lawmakers held some bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the forum. Among them were talks with Speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly (parliament) Ismail Kahraman which focused on topical regional issues and deeper collaboration between the two countries’ parliaments.

US opens embassy in Jerusalem

On Monday, the US embassy to Israel was officially inaugurated in a celebratory ceremony in Jerusalem, sparking widespread protests among Palestinians. On 6 December 2017, US President Donald Trump said "it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." He added that he had directed the Department of State to begin a process of moving the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The move was negatively taken in Arab and Muslim countries among others. Large-scale protests sparked in Palestinian territories. On May 14, at least 60 Palestinians were killed and 3,000 more were wounded in clashes with Israeli troops at the border of Gaza.

Jerusalem is a major thorn in the side of Palestine’s relations with Israel that occupied the city’s eastern part in the 1967 war. Israel insists that Jerusalem is its "eternal and indivisible" capital, whereas Palestine strives for the city’s eastern part to become the capital city of their state. Under the resolutions of UN Security Council and General Assembly, the status of the ancient city should be solved at direct negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

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