Author: YASSER OKBI / MAARIV HASHAVUA
Posted on February 11, 2017
US President Donald Trump has responded to the Jordanian king’s request that the United States refrain from moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Arab media reported on Saturday.
The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that the Trump administration transferred a message to the Palestinian Authority that the embassy would not be moving to Jerusalem.
According to the report, top security officials in the Trump administration also spoke with the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, Majid Faraj, to send “reassuring messages” on settlements.
But in an interview with the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom, Trump said he had not yet made a decision on whether or not to relocate the embassy.
“I am thinking about the embassy, I am studying the embassy [issue], and we will see what happens. 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,” Trump told the paper. On Wednesday, the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt discussed Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem during a meeting in the Jordanian capital Amman.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said that Israeli settlements and other issues relating to the conflict were addressed during Jordanian King Abdullah’s recent meetings with the new US administration.
During the visit, Abdullah raised concerns about Trump’s pledge to relocate the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“In our view, Jerusalem 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. This stance has been clearly articulated by his majesty, and we have conveyed our viewpoint on the outcome of any decision that threatens the identity of Jerusalem clearly and honestly to the United States administration,” Safadi said.
King Abdullah was the first Arab leader to hold talks with the US administration.
Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post staff and Reuters contributed to this report.