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Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump followed through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said from White House's Diplomatic Reception Room. "After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."

Trump's decision, previewed Tuesday by senior administration officials, upends decades of policy from successive Republican and Democratic administrations that have said the status of Jerusalem should be left up to a final status agreement negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ahead of the president’s announcement, one administration official described the move as an "honest" acknowledgement of a "seven-decade old fact."

“While President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, he does not think it will be resolved by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, its Supreme Court, the prime minister and is such the capital of Israel,” the official said.

The U.S. would be the first country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, which is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians. Other countries who have diplomatic relations with Israel keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

But the embassy move would not be immediate and could take at least three or four years. There are currently about 1,000 personnel in the embassy in Tel Aviv. They added that there is no facility in Jerusalem ready to serve as the embassy site, and it will take time to address security, design and cost concerns.

The Trump Administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President, and has engaged broadly with both our congressional and international partners on this issue. Ahead of the announcement, Trump spoke Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has said he supports the U.S. moving its embassy. But Abbas has warned of the “gravity of consequences” should the move become official for “the peace process and security and stability in the region and world.”

President Trump’s action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, including as expressed in the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995.  This Act was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

President Trump has instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Departments and Agencies have implemented a robust security plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and assets in the region.


STATUS OF JERUSALEM: President Trump recognizes that specific boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem is highly sensitive and subject to final status negotiations.

President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue, but he does not think the peace process is aided by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, supreme court, President, and Prime Minister.

President Trump recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.

President Trump reaffirms United States support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al Sharif.

COMMITTED TO THE PEACE PROCESS: President Trump is committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

President Trump remains committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and he is optimistic that peace can be achieved.

Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has not helped achieve peace over the past two decades.

President Trump is prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians, if agreed to by the parties.

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