President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or to proceed immediately to relocate the US Embbady. UU From Tel Aviv to the holy city. That's according to his son-in-law and chief counselor Jared Kushner.
Kushner said on Sunday that the president is still weighing his options before an announcement on the matter that is expected this week.
"The president is going to make his decision," Kushner said in a rare public appearance at an event organized by the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington. "He is still seeing many different facts."
Kushner's comments were his first public comments on his efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. And they came as they face increasing scrutiny over actions taken during the transition period after former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI.
Shortly before Kushner spoke, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would jeopardize the peace efforts of the Middle East.
"Any American step related to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or the relocation of the US Embbady to Jerusalem represents a threat to the future of the peace process and is unacceptable to Palestinians, Arabs and internationally, "Abbas told a group of Arab lawmakers in Israel, according to the official news agency Wafa.
Officials said last week that Trump is ready to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a move that would suspend decades of US policy, but also postponing once again the relocation of the embbady from Tel Aviv. Officials said Trump is expected to say his decision in a speech on Wednesday.
The highly charged declaration runs the risk of inflaming tensions in the Middle East, and US embbadies and consulates. UU Around the region they have been warned of waiting for protests. But it would also make up for the disappointment of Trump supporters of once again deferring their campaign promise to move the US embbady to Jerusalem.
Trump's announcement will follow months of internal deliberations that became particularly intense last week, according to officials familiar with the discussions. They described the president as intent on fulfilling his promise to move the embbady, but also aware that doing so could delay his goal of forging a long evasive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim part of Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual state.
Moving the embbady could provoke widespread protest throughout the Middle East and undermine an Arab-Israeli peace push led by Kushner. The promises of Trump's campaign season won him the support of powerful pro-Israel voices in the Republican Party. But as president, he has faced equally energetic lobbyists of close allies such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, who have been impressed by the dangers of leaving the carefully balanced position of the United States in the holy city.
According to the US law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the United States must relocate its embbady from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless the president waives the requirement for reasons of national security, something that is required every six months. If the exemption is not signed and the embbady does not move, the State Department would lose half of its funds for its facilities and its security throughout the world. Republicans have defended the security of the embbady since a 2012 attack on US compounds in Benghazi, Libya.
Trump will likely issue an exemption to move the embbady on Monday, officials said, although they warned that the president could always decide otherwise. 19659002] All the presidents since Clinton have issued the exemption, saying that the state of Jerusalem is a matter that Israelis and Palestinians must negotiate. Trump signed the resignation in the last term in June, but the White House made it clear that he still intended to move the embbady.