Swedish newspaper: Settlements an extension of previous US policy

 Swedish President Dagens Nyheter commented on the change in US policy toward settlement policy by saying, "It is not a surprise to anyone! The gift of relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing the Golan Heights within Israeli territory. "

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement on settlements in the West Bank is "an extension of past US policy," the paper said. International law "is certainly not an exact science ... but if there is an indisputable principle in international law, it is that no State can do what it pleases in occupied territory."

The paper said the West Bank "will always be an integral part of any discussions on a Palestinian state" and said the Trump administration's new policy "now looks like a bullet of execution for this fact."

Pompeo said on Monday that the US administration no longer sees settlement building in the West Bank as a violation of international law and said the resolution was "based on facts on the ground" and promoted chances for peace.

The United Nations on Tuesday expressed regret over the US announcement.

"We deeply regret the declaration. We remain committed to a two-state solution based on relevant UN resolutions," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

Robert Colville, spokesman for the UN Human Rights Office, said the UN position on settlements was unchanged.

"A change in the political position of one country will not change existing international law, nor will it be interpreted by the International Court of Justice or the Security Council," he said.

In 2016, the UN Security Council demanded a complete halt to settlement construction and passed a resolution calling it a violation of international law and a major obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

 

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