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Trump shelves plans to relocate US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Thursday May 18, 2017 11:03 PM, IINA

US embassy Tel Aviv

Washington:
President Donald Trump will not relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The decision would break a major campaign promise from Trump who vowed to make the highly controversial move, but would likely stave off a major diplomatic crisis.

Israel and Palestine each claim the contested city as their capital. Moving the American embassy there would be a de facto recognition of Israel's sovereignty in the area and would rebuff Palestinian claims.

An unnamed senior White House official told Bloomberg Politics the move would not be "wise to do it at this time.”

“We’ve been very clear what our position is and what we would like to see done, but we’re not looking to provoke anyone when everyone’s playing really nice," the official said.

If true, Trump would not be the first president to pull out on a promise to relocate the diplomatic station. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did so on the campaign trail only to have the diplomatic realities of the move prevent any follow-through.

Congress mandated the move in 1995 under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, but successive presidents have used a six-month waiver to perpetually stave off the relocation on national security grounds.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that Trump is "being very careful" about the decision. "I think the president's being very measured in how he goes about this. And appropriately so," he told NBC News.

 

 



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