Trump keeps US embassy in Tel Aviv, for now

White House says move should not be seen as a retreat from Trump's 'strong support for Israel'

Trump keeps US embassy in Tel Aviv, for now

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Donald Trump decided Thursday to keep the U.S.' Israel embassy in Tel Aviv, temporarily waving a decades-old law requiring the diplomatic building's relocation to Jerusalem.

"No one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President's strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance," the White House said in a statement.

Successive presidents of both parties have signed a six-month waiver since the Jerusalem Embassy Act was signed into law in 1995, perpetually forestalling the building's legislated move over concerns it could spark a diplomatic crisis and be a death knell to peace talks.

"President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America's national security interests," the White House said.

It insisted that the decision should not be seen as Trump reneging on his campaign pledge to relocate the embassy, saying "the question is not if that move happens, but only when".

Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, but Palestinians are seeking the city's east for the capital of their future state.

The relocation of the U.S.' Israel embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as a de facto recognition of Israel's claims to the contested city.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2017, 17:52