Trump to recognize Jerusalem as capital, staff to prepare embassy move

Trump to recognize Jerusalem as capital, staff to prepare embassy move

The vice-president is travelling to Israel next month and noted that he would deliver an address at the Knesset and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial during his visit.

He said that with regard to Israel, the United Nations had become "a forum for invective in the form of anti-Semitism and hatred".

US President Donald Trump is "actively considering when and how" to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, his vice president said on Tuesday, evoking a controversial campaign promise that the administration had sidelined.

Earlier this year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had warned against the embassy's move, in an official letter addressed to Trump.

Congress passed a law in 1995 making it United States policy to move the embassy to Jerusalem, symbolically endorsing Israel's claim on the city as its capital.

He argued that when USA presidents came to Israel, they went to Jerusalem and not Tel Aviv.

In just a few more weeks, the president will decide whether to approve the move or stave off the decision for another six months.

Many Israelis have expressed frustration that almost a year into Trump's presidency, the move still hasn't happened.

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With the Trump administration facing a deadline within days on whether to move the embassy, Pence's comments suggested the administration may be closer to agreeing to a key Israeli wish.

"This issue is important to Christian leaders, many of whom are in favor of continued Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, including our revered sites in the eastern part of the city". Something which the reigning US presidents have done for years.

"It's a question of when, not if", a United States official said at the time about a move to Jerusalem, which Israel considers its eternal capital.

"While Israel was built by human hands, it's impossible not to see the hand of heaven here too".

"As the president has made clear, our administration is also committed to finally bringing peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", Pence said. "From this day onward, for the next 70 years and beyond, Israel will continue to be a beacon of democracy, a powerhouse of innovation and a light unto the nations".

"Seventy years ago in this very room, in these very seats where you are sitting today, the dream of the Jewish people of 2,000 years came true".

Former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan says that Palestinian political reconciliation must be prioritised over negotiations with Israel, saying the two-state solution is now "impossible".

Pence was met with applause when he said the Jewish people have the right "to be the masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign state".

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