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Jordan King warns US moving embassy to Jerusalem could jeopardize peace efforts

Le roi Abdallah II de Jordanie
KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP

Jordan's King Abudallah II has apprised US leaders of the inherent dangers in moving the American embassy from its current Tel Aviv location to Jerusalem, fearing that the move could prompt terrorist activity and further threaten prospects for peace.

According to the Jordan Times, King Abdullah implored the US not to take any steps that could threaten attempts to revive peace talks.

The warning came amid King Abdullah's visit to Capitol Hill this week to discuss US-Jordanian strategic, military, and economic cooperation.

According to the Times, the Jordanian king explained that moving the American embassy to Jersualem would have to be part of a comprehensive two-state solution -- the only viable solution in his eyes -- which would also establish East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Otherwise, terrorist organizations could regain ground as a result of Palestinian frustration with such a symbolic unilateral decision.

Nasser Nasser (POOL/AFP)

According to the local Hadashot TV report, Israeli officials are expecting US President Donald Trump to make a landmark announcement in the coming days regarding the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the highly-sensitive holy city as Israel’s capital.

The move could take place as soon as Sunday and Trump is instructing officials to prepare for it, though the White House urged caution in response to the report on Wednesday.

"This is a premature report. We have nothing to announce," said press secretary Sarah Sanders.

The report comes just a day after Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence stated that the President was “actively considering” how and when to move the US embassy.

Pence, who is set to visit Israel next month, attended a symbolic re-enactment of the November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly vote, on the eve of its 70th anniversary, where he delivered an effusive speech bolstering the United States’ continued support for the State of Israel.

"The President sent me here with a simple message," he stated. "That under our administration, America will always stand with Israel."

JIM WATSON (AFP)

"President Donald Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," he told the gathering of UN ambassadors, diplomats and Jewish leaders, evoking a campaign promise that had been sidelined when Trump signed a waiver to delay the move for six months on June 1.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump vowed several times to move the US embassy, which like other international missions is currently located in Tel Aviv because of Jerusalem's disputed status. The promise was a break from typical US policy.

In 1995, Congress made it US policy to move the embassy to Jerusalem, symbolically endorsing Israel's claim on the city as its capital, but the law contained a clause that has allowed each president since to issue and renew a six-month waiver on carrying out the move.

AFP

Despite his campaign promises, Trump signed the presidential waiver to delay the move, stating that it was in order to "maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians."

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.

The intention to move the embassy has been welcomed by Israel, but slammed by the Palestinians and many other countries and international organizations as a move that could sink the peace process.

(AFP contributed to this report)

Comments

(2)

The Jordanian king and the world were not to be alarmed automatically at the announcement of this news, and the terrorist actions in Jerusalem, Israel are, for several years already, green.

I believe, in humble opinion, that a solution integrating the security of the Palestinians and the maintenance of the tombs of the Jewish patriarchs in Israel will be proposed by the White House.

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