Trump told not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital ahead of visit
19 Мая 2017, 09:36 | Todd Saunders
Trump is still weighing how a potential move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem would affect prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked to join President Trump at the site during Trump's visit to Israel, but US officials preparing the president's trip rebuffed the request, according to Channel 2 TV in Israel.
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!
Israel's Channel 2 reported that during a planning meeting between U.S. and Israeli officials, the Israelis were told that Trump's visit to the Western Wall, in annexed East Jerusalem, was private.
There have been some signs that the Israeli government, while publicly supporting moving the embassy, has quietly raised concerns that doing so could enflame the political and security situation. The billionaire is a fierce critic of USA efforts to negotiate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has called Palestinians "an invented people" who want to destroy Israel.
Israeli right-wingers have pressed Trump to stick to his pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but the president has backed away since taking office, saying it was still being looked at.
Trump has two weeks to make that decision, before the embassy automatically moves based on a 1995 United States law mandating the location switch.
"The transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem not only will not harm the peace process, but the opposite".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has challenged USA concerns over moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and said a move will help the peace process progress.
Tillerson indicated that an important factor for the administration was "whether Israel views it as being helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction".
The comment was in response to an Israeli request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to join President Trump when he visits the Western Wall. Trump has said he wants Kushner to lead the peace process.
The US and other countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
The White House distanced itself from the alleged comments, saying in statements to USA media that they did not reflect the views of the adminstration. Israel began its occupation of the West Bank at the same time; the occupation is regarded as illegal by most countries, though Israel disputes that. He is scheduled to meet Netanyahu in Jerusalem before travelling to Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
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