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Trump administration looks to move embassy to Jerusalem by 2019: report

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Report contradicts Trump statement this week that the embassy move would not be within the coming year

The Trump administration will move to transfer the US embassy from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 2019, senior officials told the New York Times on Thursday, in what seems to be a series of conflicting statements. 

The report contradicts a statement made by the president on Wednesday, as US President Donald Trump told Reuters that the US embassy would not be relocated within the year.

Asked about a comment made by an earlier Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the embassy would be moved this year, Trump said by "the end of the year? We’re talking about different scenarios - I mean obviously that would be on a temporary basis. We’re not really looking at that. That’s no.

Trump's statement on Wednesday did not contradict a statement made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said last month the embassy move was “probably no earlier than three years out, and that’s pretty ambitious."

The US relationship with the Palestinians has been tense since Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and vow to relocate the US embassy there last month. The move sparked a new wave of unrest between Israel and the Palestinians, and called into question the US role in future peace talks.

The status of Jerusalem is among the most contentious in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

No country currently has its embassy in Jerusalem, instead keeping them in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv.

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