WASHIGNTON, June 2 (APP): President Trump has delayed a
decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a bid to boost chances of peace deal between Israel and Palestinians.
But a statement issued by the White House insisted that the decision
should not be seen as a retreat from his promise he made during his election campaign, saying that the question of moving the embassy to Jerusalem is “not if that move happens, but only when.”
“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 statement said.
President Trump who paid his maiden visit to the Middle East and Israel
last month gave no indication about the decision, until he made the announcement within the timeframe under law. In 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem by 1999 or else the State Department’s building budget would be cut in half. President Trump can waive it only for six months, meaning he will have to revisit the issue again on Dec 1.
Since taking over the White House, President Trump has spoken of
brokering a peace deal but has said that the United States cannot impose any agreement and the two nations must work to resolve the issuee.
He has also refrained from supporting a two-state solution to the
decades-old conflict, a position long held by the United States.
Palestinians says the two-state solution is the basis of a comprehensive
and just peace, which will also enable the Arab and the Islamic countries to have normal relations with Israel. Pakistan is among the Muslim countries which does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.
President Trump signed the waiver hours before he was to announce his
decision whether to pull out the United States from the Paris climate change accorded brokered by previous President Barack Obama. If he choose to withdraw, the move is like to alienate many longtime American allies in Europe and Asia, a report by the New York Times said.
King Abdullah 11 of Jordon visited Washington soon after President
Trump’s inauguration during which, the NYT report said, he warned President Trump of moving the embassy to Jerusalem, saying that it would evoke a possible violent backlash among Arabs and would laid to rest chances of any peace deal between Israel and the Middle Eastern Muslim countries.
“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.
“While there is likely to be some backlash from his conservative base,
especially evangelical voters, the fact that Trump is now personally invested in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking may be something of an insurance policy against his having a change of heart further down the road.”