Rabat - US President Donald Trump has opted not to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, at least for another six months.
Rabat – US President Donald Trump has opted not to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, at least for another six months.
Despite campaign promises to move the embassy to Jerusalem, Trump signed a waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv. This decision will likely disappoint Israel supporters but gives the president a better chance of reaching a peace deal.
Trump’s decision seems to have been influenced by his recent trip to the Middle East and his meetings with many Arab leaders. Both the Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and King Abdullah of Jordan made it clear to Trump that moving the embassy now would damage possibilities for peace talks.
In 1995, the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act which mandates moving the embassy to Jerusalem by 1999. Written into that act was a provision that allowed the president to sign a six-month waiver that would delay the move. Since 1999, the deadline of the original act, every US president has singed the waiver every six months.
Like every other country, the US maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv. In doing so, the US is able to avoid recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel which would damage relationships with Palestinians who have also claimed the city. If the US was to decide to move the embassy to Jerusalem, the consulate maintained there would likely be temporarily converted to the embassy.