Trump wants to give peace deal 'a shot' before moving US embassy to Jerusalem
Jack GUEZ (AFP/File)
US President Donald Trump said in an interview Saturday that he wants to give peace “a shot” before deciding whether to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a controversial move in the thorny Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"I wanna give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem," Trump said on former governor Mike Huckabee's TV show, referring to efforts to forge a peace between the two sides that has eluded career diplomats for decades.
"If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it’ll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East," he said.
"We're gonna make a decision in the not too distant future," Trump said, but for now, the peace push comes first.
Despite his campaign promises, Trump signed a presidential waiver on the move in June delaying it by six months in order to "maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians."
A rolling presidential waiver blocking a law passed by Congress in 1995 dictating that the American embassy be relocated to Jerusalem has been renewed annually by the administrations of former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv, where most countries’ embassies are located in Israel, to Jerusalem, would effectively grant recognition to Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
However, the status of the holy city is a flashpoint issue as Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel has declared the entire city as its capital.
Since Trump's inauguration on January 20, there had been a lack of clarity and conflicting reports on whether the right-wing firebrand would make good on the promise.
In the meantime, Trump has met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to restart the negotiation process.
He has also sent delegates on several occasions, including his son in law Jared Kushner to continue the efforts.
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The fana want NO peace.