Trump doesn't plan to announce embassy move during Israel trip: report
SAUL LOEB (AFP/File)
President Donald Trump doesn't intend to announce that the US will be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during the upcoming trip to Israel, a Washington official told Reuters on Wednesday.
"We're having very good discussions with all parties and as long as we see that happening, then we don’t intend to do anything that we think could upset those discussions," the unnamed official was quoted as saying
"We don't think it’s the right time to do it right now, but we’ll re-evaluate it down the road."
Trump is expected to arrive in Israel on May 22 as part of his first foreign tour since taking office.
Later in the day the State Department announced that Secretary Rex Tillerson will be joining Trump on the trip to Israel and other destinations, including Saudi Arabic and Italy.
Tillerson on Sunday said that Trump "wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine...the President is being very careful to understand how such a decision [moving the embassy] would impact a peace process."
The status of Jerusalem is a flashpoint issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel has declared the entire city as its capital. Most countries have their embassies located in Tel Aviv.
During his presidential campaign, Trump controversially promised to move the embassy and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided" capital.
Since Trump's inauguration on January 20, there's been a lack of clarity and conflicting reports on whether the right-wing firebrand is going to make good on the promise.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she believed that the American embassy in Israel should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“Obviously I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem,” Haley told the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is.”
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