US senator calls Jerusalem Israel's capital - New York News

US senator calls Jerusalem Israel's capital

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Israel's President Shimon Peres, right, shakes hands for photographers with US Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. during their meeting in the President's residence in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) Israel's President Shimon Peres, right, shakes hands for photographers with US Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. during their meeting in the President's residence in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

JERUSALEM (AP) — An influential Republican senator has called Jerusalem the capital of Israel, taking a stand on an explosive issue between Israel and the Palestinians.

The fate of Jerusalem is one of the most intractable issues in the Mideast conflict with both Israelis and Palestinians claiming rights to the city.

In his first official visit to the country, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told Israel's president on Wednesday that Jerusalem is "of course the capital of your country." He reiterated America's bipartisan support for Israel.

Rubio, a favorite of his party's conservative wing, met Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

His visit comes ahead of President Barack Obama's scheduled visit in March. Obama has not made a similar declaration about Jerusalem.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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