Trump waives law requiring US move its embassy to Jerusalem

Posted June 04, 2017

After announcing such a plan during the campaign, Trump this week signed the Jerusalem Recognition Act Waiver, delaying that move for at least six months.

On the peace process level, Al-Omari said that a second reason for Trump's restraint was that moving the embassy "would make resuming the peace talks practically impossible" at a time when Washington is attempting to jumpstart direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians stalled since 2013.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer sought to head off disappointment and complaints by saying in a statement that "no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President's strong support for Israel and for the U.S. -Israel alliance".

When told that Trump said he will move the embassy later, Steinitz says: "I hope that happens before the Messiah comes".

Mr Zomlot said: "We are ready to start the consultation process with the USA administration". And Trump won't have much space to breathe on this issue.

Trump's decision, the minister said, highlights the US administration's respect to its partners' views.

"The focus is on how upsetting it'd be to Palestinians if the United States recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish capital", Oren said during Trump's visit to Israel. The Israeli member of Knesset who took a selfie with Benjamin Netanyahu says he dreams of doing it again, in the Jerusalem embassy.

"Israel's consistent position is that the American embassy, like the embassies of all countries with whom we have diplomatic relations, should be in Jerusalem, our eternal capital".

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INSKEEP: Would you remind us why the USA embassy isn't in Jerusalem, which the Israelis say is their capital?

"There is likely to be a collective sigh of relief by Arab leaders, the Europeans, the State Department and the intelligence community", the NYT report said quoting Khaled Elgindy, a former adviser to Palestinian leaders now at the Brookings Institution.

INSKEEP: Obviously, it was very convenient for Congress to vote to move the embassy, but nobody actually does it. Presidents of both parties have renewed the waiver every six months for years.

"We know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis", he said.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani said Thursday that "we strongly welcome the decision and highly value the message it is sending".

"Even seemingly minor changes to Jerusalem's status quo in fact or law have historically carried the risk of sparking potential violence", it said. President Trump can waive it only for six months, meaning he will have to revisit the issue again on Dec 1.

Trump had been lobbied heavily by Mideast leaders, notably Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan, to sign the waiver to prevent further instability and unrest in the region. Two decades later, Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed it, though without global recognition.