WASHINGTON (Jul. 1)
The State Deportment said today that Jerusalem is “not undivided” nor is there “free access” to its holy places. John Trattner, the Department’s new chief spokesman, replied in the negative when those two points were raised in connection with the U.S. abstention in yesterday’s Security Council vote on a resolution condemning Israel for altering the character and status of Jerusalem.
Trattner, replacing Hodding Carter, whose resignation as chief spokesman took effect yesterday, said that with respect to Jerusalem, the U.S. considers “three central factors.” He listed them as an undivided city, free access to the holy places for all faiths and the principle that the “final status of the city has to be decided in negotiations. “He added, “We don’t intend to pre-judge the outcome of those negotiations and we oppose others trying to pre-judge it.”
When asked if the city is undivided and if there was not free access to the holy places, he replied in the negative. Pressed further he said he would not discuss those points because we’ve been through this.” Trattner denied that the Knesset’s Constitutional Committee’s decision yesterday to approve a measure affirming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital had any part in the U.S. decision to obtain in the Security Council vote.