Tillerson says Trump is 'weighing' options on embassy move, listening to all sides

A week ahead of the highly anticipated visit to Israel by the 45th US President, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that Trump is "being very careful" in making his decision about whether or not he will move the US embassy to Jerusalem, citing potentially detrimental effects on the peace talks.
Tillerson discusses Trump's calculations in decision on embassy Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

US President Donald Trump, who campaigned on the promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, has taken a hesitant step away from the idea since taking office. Today, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hinted that Trump may completely withdraw from the idea, saying that the president is “weighing” the move’s effects on the peace talks.

In an interview with NBC, Tillerson revealed the president's considerations regarding the location of the embassy. "The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact the peace process," Tillerson said, emphasizing the White House’s awareness that an embassy move will evoke harsh reactions across the region.

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Tillerson added that Trump’s decision will be made after receiving feedback from all sides, including "whether Israel views it as helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction."

Today's US Embassy in Israel: Tel Aviv Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Trump, who is due to arrive in Israel in one week, will have to decide on the matter shortly as the most recent waiver signed by former US President Barack Obama postponing the embassy move expires on June 1. However, it has been reported in the US that Trump may sign the waiver and extend the postponement by at least six months in order to hold further discussions on the issue.

Although an outspoken supporter of the embassy move, new US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has decided to work from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, rather than from the consulate in Jerusalem.

As previously reported by JOL, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster announced ahead of Trump's visit to the Middle East that the US president plans to "express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians" during his scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, which will be part of his first international campaign since taking office.

As previously reported by JOL, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster announced ahead of Trump's visit to the Middle East, that the US president plans to "express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians" during his scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, part of his first international campaign since taking office. 



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