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Tillerson: On Jerusalem, Trump obeys will of US people

Trump plans Tillerson ouster from State Dept., to be replaced by Pompeo
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that, in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Donald Trump was obeying the will of the American people, Daily Mail reported Thursday. 

Washington's top diplomat has stood by his boss and insists the decision has not marred what has otherwise been a very positive reception from EU and NATO colleagues.

"The president is simply carrying out the will of the American people," Tillerson said at a news conference with Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

"Nothing is different other than the president has now implemented the 1995 law," he said, insisting Washington wants Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a peace deal.

Regarding the Ukrainian crisis, "We will never accept Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea. Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine," he said.

The secretary of state noted Russia is "arming, leading, training and fighting alongside anti-government forces" in Ukraine.

The question of the status of Jerusalem should be resolved in direct talks between the parties, said Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

“Our position here is clear - both the Austrian authorities and the EU authorities hold the view that the status of Jerusalem should be clarified in the course of direct negotiations between the parties.”, Kurz said. 

Tillerson is in Europe on a three-city tour and his talks with America's allies have been partly overshadowed by global outrage at Trump's controversial decision.