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State Dept. Spokesman Refuses to Say Whether Jerusalem Is the Capital of Israel (WEEKLY STANDARD) BY DANIEL HALPER / Blog 03/28/12 4:02 PM)Source: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/state-dept-avoids-saying-whether-jerusalem-capital-israel_634793.html WEEKLY STANDARD WEEKLY STANDARD Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
There was an amazing exchange today at the State Department press briefing when the press secretary refused to say that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel. “We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem,” State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said in response the question.

When pressed further, Nuland stood her ground. “Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved through negotiations. Thatīs all I have to say on this issue,” said Nuland.

Later, an apparently irritated spokesman again repeated her commitment not to answer the simple question. “I donīt have anything further to what Iīve said 17 times on that subject,” said Nuland. “OK?”

The questions were regarding this Washington Free Beacon story that highlighted the State Departmentīs refusal to list Jerusalem as part of Israel.

Hereīs video of the exchange:



And here’s the transcript of the exchange:

Q: Yesterday there was a bit of a kerfuffle over an announcement that was made by the department about the travel of your boss. Is it the State Departmentīs position that Jerusalem is not part of Israel?

MS. NULAND: Well, you know that our position on Jerusalem has not changed. The first media note was issued in error, without appropriate clearances. We reissued the note to make clear that undersecretary, acting undersecretary for -- our -- Kathy Stevens will be travelling to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. With regard to our Jerusalem policy, itīs a permanent-status issue. Itīs got to be resolved through the negotiations between the parties.

Q: Is it the view of the -- of the United States that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, notwithstanding the question about the embassy -- the location of the U.S. embassy?

MS. NULAND: We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem.

Q: Does that -- does that mean that you do not regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

MS. NULAND: Jerusalem is a permanent- status issue. Itīs got to be resolved through negotiations.

Q: That seems to suggest that you do not regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Is that correct or not?

MS. NULAND: I have just spoken to this issue --

Q: (Inaudible.)

MS. NULAND: - - and I have nothing further to say on it.

Q: Youīve spoken to the issue --

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

Q: -- but (havenīt answered ?) the question. And I think thereīs a lot of people out there who are interested in hearing a real answer and not saying -- and not trying to duck and say that this has got to be resolved by negotiations between the two sides.

MS. NULAND: That is our --

Q: What is the capital of Israel?

MS. NULAND: Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved through negotiations. Thatīs all I have to say on this issue.

Q: What is the capital of Israel according --

MS. NULAND: Our embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv.

Q: So does that mean you regard Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel?

MS. NULAND: The issue on Jerusalem has to be settled through negotiations.

....

Q: I just want to go back to -- I want to clarify something, perhaps give you an "out" on your Jerusalem answer. Is it your -- is it your position that all of Jerusalem is a final-status issue, or do you think -- or is it just East Jerusalem?

MS. NULAND: Matt, I donīt have anything further to what Iīve said 17 times on that subject. OK?

Q: All right. So hold on. So I just want to make sure. Youīre saying that all of Jerusalem, not just East Jerusalem, is a final- status issue.

MS. NULAND: Matt, I donīt have anything further on Jerusalem to what Iīve already said.


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