Washington: US President Donald Trump has said here that he was considering travelling to Israel next month to attend the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, which is being moved from Tel Aviv. “I may go. I’m very proud of it,” Trump said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the White House on Friday, Efe news reported.
Last December, Trump directed the State Department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which implies an official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This move challenges the international consensus on Jerusalem, which states that the city’s status must be decided through peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
Trump said he was “very proud” of the embassy move since it was something that had been promised for many years during numerous political campaigns.
No country currently has an embassy in Jerusalem, as such a move would imply recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the city at a time when the international consensus is that eastern Jerusalem is Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.
Palestinians have considered the embassy move as a provocation that has disqualified the Trump administration from being an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The White House has not confirmed Trump’s visit, while some Israeli media have said that the US delegation will be led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, who are both presidential advisors.