Donald Trump

Trump backpedals on plan to relocate US mission in Israel: Report

Press TV- Reports have emerged of US President Donald Trump reversing his pledge to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds amid widespread condemnation and warning against the move.

According to the Palestinian daily al-Quds, the Trump administration has conveyed a message to the Palestinian Authority, saying the US diplomatic mission would not be moved to Jerusalem al-Quds.

In an interview with Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom published on Friday, the US president said that he was “thinking seriously” about the embassy relocation.

Trump told the paper, “The embassy is not an easy decision. It has obviously been out there for many, many years, and nobody has wanted to make that decision. I’m thinking about it very seriously, and we will see what happens.”

In September 2016, Trump who was the Republican presidential front-runner at the time, promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s undivided capital if he won the presidential race.

The pledge, however, has sparked a chorus of condemnation, with several Palestinian and Arab leaders warning that the move could wreck the chances of peace in the Middle East for good.

Palestinians hold banners and placards during a protest against US President Donald Trump’s plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, January 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

According to the newspaper, top US security officials have spoken with Majid Faraj, the head of the Palestinian intelligence service, to send “reassuring messages” on the issue of Israeli settlements.

Earlier this month, Jordanian King Abdullah II met with Trump in Washington and warned the US government against the embassy transfer bid, saying it could worsen the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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“In our view, Jerusalem [al-Quds] is extremely important, our firm stance is that we reject any unilateral efforts that attempt to change the Arab, Muslim and Christian identity of the holy city,” said Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi.

In January, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cautioned that “any statement or position that disrupts or changes the status of Jerusalem [al-Quds] is a red line which we will never accept.”

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) also predicted last December that all American embassies in the Arab world would have to close in the face of popular Arab outrage that would follow the potential embassy move.

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