Trump Says He May Travel to Israel for Embassy Move
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US President Donald Trump said on Monday he might travel to Israel for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem (al-Quds).
Trump, with Netanyahu at his side in the Oval Office, said he was considering making what would be his second visit to Jerusalem as president. The opening of the US embassy is planned for May.
“We’re looking at coming,” Trump said, Reuters reported.
“If I can, I will.”
Trump on December 6 defied global warnings and said Washington formally recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel and would begin the process of moving its embassy to the occupied city, breaking with decades of American policy.
His decision infuriated the Palestinians, who declared that Washington could no longer play a role as lead mediator in the Middle East peace process. It also sparked outrage across the Muslim world and even Washington's Arab allies.
The United Nations General Assembly on December 21 overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
The 193-nation assembly adopted the resolution by a decisive vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions.
The scheduled opening of the US embassy in May appears to represent an earlier time frame than what had been expected.
During an address to the Israeli Knesset (parliament) on January 22, US Vice President Mike Pence said Washington was planning to relocate the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “by the end” of 2019.
According to one of the US officials, the new US embassy in Jerusalem would open on May 14 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.