WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is expected to approve a plan to relocate the US embassy. UU In Israel to Jerusalem as early as next year, instead of waiting several years, officials of the Trump administration said Friday.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has considered several options since President Donald Trump, late last year, declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and announced that the United States would finally move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. Tillerson said earlier that the construction of a new facility that meets the important safety requirements is a complex process that involves site selection, permits and construction. He said the process is starting immediately, but it will take at least three years.
However, a temporary plan that has been presented to Tillerson would see a US consular building existing in West Jerusalem designated as the interim embassy until the new one is built, three US officials said. Officials were not authorized to discuss the situation by name and demanded anonymity.
In the most likely scenario, the US ambassador UU In Israel, David Friedman and a handful of senior advisers and support staff would open temporary offices in the Jerusalem annex. spring – possibly already in April, officials said on the matter. Friedman and the others would keep their workspaces in the old embassy building in Tel Aviv, but the step would allow Trump to say that technically the embassy had moved.
Most of the embassy's operations would remain in Tel Aviv in the short term, then the annex would effectively be a satellite branch of Tel Aviv's facilities. But supporters of the measure could argue that the administration kept its promise to move the embassy to the holy city and that Tel Aviv staff is simply supporting the Jerusalem office.
Two of the officials say that Vice President Mike Pence, a pro-Israel pro-Israel defender within the Trump administration, has been pushing the State Department to accept the proposal quickly so that Pence can announce it during a highly anticipated trip. to Israel. Pence would leave on Friday night for his visit to the Middle East.
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