In order to avoid provoking Palestinian tempers as he attempts to engage the country’s leaders in peace talks with Israel and the U.S., President Donald Trump has decided to delay moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, according to an article in Bloomberg which quoted an unnamed White House official as its source.
The anonymous official, who reportedly “asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter,” said that the administration is optimistic that discussions between the two countries will go well, claiming that the Palestinians in particular are “agreeing to talk without preconditions.”
While he was campaigning a year ago, Trump made a speech to the American Israeli Political Action Committee conference in which he called Jerusalem “the eternal capital of the Jewish people” and promised that he would move the U.S. embassy there. However, the Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital, so relocating the U.S. embassy there would appear as though Trump is siding with Israel; angering the Palestinians.
“We don’t think it would be wise to do it at this time,” said the unnamed official. “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.”
Trump has called a successfully brokered peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians “the ultimate deal.” In his pursuit of attaining that goal, Trump sent Jason Greenblatt as an envoy to the region in March to initiate talks. The president has also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House.
During a February news conference with Netanyahu, Trump reportedly said that his administration was looking at moving the American embassy to Jerusalem “with great care.”
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