Scheer: Jerusalem is Israel's

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says if his party forms government in 2019, it will follow Donald Trump's lead and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Scheer's declaration comes in the form of a pledge posted to the Conservative party website designed to gather signatures from members of the public.

"Canada's Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when we form government in 2019," the pledge says, describing the party as "a strong voice for Israel and the Canadian Jewish community."

It marks Scheer's first definitive statement on the issue since it became a renewed matter of public debate late last year.

That debate was prompted by the U.S. president's decision in December to not just recognize Jerusalem as the capital, but to promise to move the American embassy there as well.

It's a contentious move. While Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, so do the Palestinians; the status of the city is part of ongoing peace negotiations. The U.S. decision was seen as taking sides in the debate and upending years of American diplomacy.

In the aftermath of Trump's announcement, the federal Liberal government said the issue must be resolved through negotiation.

The pledge from Scheer sides squarely with Israel. "Canada's Conservatives recognize the obvious fact that Israel, like every other sovereign nation, has a right to determine where its capital is located," it says.

It makes no mention, however, of whether or not a government led by the Conservatives would move the Canadian embassy from Tel Aviv. Jake Enwright, a spokesman for Scheer, said that would be discussed when the party forms government.

"We're focused on this policy and this recognition and we'll consider that at a later date," Enwright said

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