Trump weighs embassy move's effect on Mideast peace process

Many Israelis expected the Trump visit would bolster Israel's position on Jerusalem and the peace talks.

An official at the Prime Minister's Office, apparently confirming the report, told Channel 2 that Israel has asked the Trump administration about the incident, and said that Netanyahu is certain that the comment does not reflect President Trump's policy.

If so, Arutz Sheva notes, that contradicts what the prime minister's office has been saying publicly.

Israel has long pressed nations to move their embassies to Jerusalem; Palestinians, and much of the global community, view east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Every President since then - Republican and Democrat - has waived the embassy move every six months, citing national security concerns.

The most recent waiver, signed by former president Barack Obama, expires on June 1. Friedman headed straight to the Western Wall to pray from the airport, calling it "the holiest place in the entire Jewish world". In a subsequent TV interview, he said the move would happen "fairly quickly".

After a Fox News reporter said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Trump against the embassy move, the Israeli Prime Minister's office called those claims false and pointed to readouts of Netanyahu's White House visit February 17 that said Netanyahu supported the move.

The former bankruptcy lawyer has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the basis of years of U.S. peace efforts. "And so, I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process".

"The transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem does not only not harm the peace process, but the opposite".

However, the worldwide community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state.

The Prime Minister's Office categorically denied a claim by a Fox News correspondent that Netanyahu had asked Trump not to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem.

Adelson disagrees with the notion the embassy move should be tied to progress in the Mideast peace process, sources informed Axios.

While the terms of the agreement are more generous to Israel that offers from previous USA administrations, reluctance to move the embassy has made heavyweight Republican funder Sheldon Adelson "furious", according to Axios.

In late March, Israeli and US officials held talks in Washington, building on another round of meetings in the Middle East earlier that month. "It's part of the West Bank".

He also later met with Netanyahu.

  • Leroy Wright