Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Netanyahu reveals conversations with Trump regarding U.S. embassy transfer to Jerusalem

Netanyahu reveals conversations with Trump regarding U.S. embassy transfer to Jerusalem

"The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process", Tillerson told NBC's Meet the Press.

Abbas said "it's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and our land" - a reference to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. There have been some signs that the Israeli government, while publicly supportive of moving the embassy, has quietly raised concerns that doing so could enflame the political and security situation.

Sources told CNN that advisers close to the president are still insisting that Trump keep the promise he made on the campaign trail to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to relocate the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

President Donald Trump is widely expected to use his first foreign trip to give fresh impetus to Middle East peace talks.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond to his comments in a statement, claiming that the measure would help bring about peace!

The summary of the meeting, written by then acting National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel, referred to a lunch meeting between Trump and Netanyahu at the White House on Feb.17. Instead of moving the embassy to Israel's capital of Jerusalem (almost every overseas American embassy is in the host country's capital), Tillerson floated the potential move as a bargaining chip as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The former bankruptcy lawyer has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the basis of years of USA peace efforts.

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Israel occupied East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.

Trump will embark on his first global trip since taking office on Friday and begin with visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank and Italy.

The US and other countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

It seems that the official was prompted to make the statement after members of Netanyahu's team asked if Netanyahu could join Trump on the visit to the Western Wall and whether Israeli photographers could document the event, to which the Americans replied that the Western Wall was a "disputed territory".

Trump's rise has now emboldened Israeli extremists to implement their illegal policies and further their occupational agenda by transferring the embassy, a move that Palestinian officials and prominent American politicians have cautioned against.

The President will travel to Bethlehem at the conclusion of a two-day long trip that will also take in a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center in Jerusalem and the city's historic quarter.

Moving the embassy would be deeply controversial since Palestinians contest Israel's right to the city and want to establish the capital of a future independent state there - a demand Palestinian Authority (P.A.) chairman Mahmoud Abbas reiterated at his March 3 Oval Office meeting with Trump.

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