Washington, MINA – The US said on Friday it would open its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May, a move from Tel Aviv that reverses decades of US policy and is bound to trouble allies who have already objected.
President Donald Trump announced last December that the United States recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, infuriating even Washington’s Arab allies and dismaying Palestinians who want the eastern part of the city as their capital. No other country has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Trump’s decision has sown discord between the US and the EU over West Asia peace efforts, Telegraph India reported.
“We are excited about taking this historic step, and look forward with anticipation to the May opening,” US state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, noting that it will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.
The embassy in Jerusalem will be gradually expanded in existing consular facilities in the Arnona neighbourhood, while the search for a permanent site has already begun for what Nauert called a “longer-term undertaking”.
The interim embassy will have office space for the ambassador and a small staff and, by the end of 2019, a new embassy annex on the Arnona compound will be opened, Nauert said in a statement.
The consulate in East Jerusalem will continue to serve Palestinians, and for security reasons US ambassador David Friedman will continue living in the residence in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.
The statement sparked controversial and condemnation arround the world.(R/R04/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)