New Israeli President: Jerusalem must Remain 'United'
Israel's new president, Moshe Katsav, said Tuesday that Jerusalem must remain united under Israeli sovereignty, despite his pledge not to interfere in politics.
"I lock up my political views, but I don't erase them," Katsav said Tuesday, the day after his shock victory over the favorite Shimon Peres in the parliamentary election for president.
"United Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is not something that splits people into camps," he told Israeli army radio.
The fate of Jerusalem is the most emotive issue standing in the way of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord and disagreement over its future sovereignty led to the collapse of the Camp David summit last week.
Katsav is the first ever candidate from the right-wing Likud party to be elected head of state. He is due to be sworn in later Tuesday at a ceremony attended by some 1,200 dignitaries.
The Iranian-born 55-year-old said he wanted to bring a "new style" to the presidency and be "president for all Israelis."
"I will not get mixed up in politics because I don't want to add to existing tensions," he told public radio.
"It's not a good idea for the president of the state to interfere in politics. The Knesset and the government were elected for that and it's better that I concentrate on social issues," he added - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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