World, Middle East

Israel PM: All embassies should move to Jerusalem

Israeli PM insists he wants US embassy relocated after reports he stalled Donald Trump's controversial plan

29.01.2017
Israel PM: All embassies should move to Jerusalem

By Kaamil Ahmed

JERUSALEM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he expects all foreign embassies to eventually move to Jerusalem, following claims he may have delayed U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial plan to relocate the U.S. embassy.

"Our position has always been, and will always be, that the U.S. embassy needs to be here, in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said at his weekly cabinet meeting.

He said that Jerusalem is the "capital of the state of Israel".

“It is proper that not only should the American embassy be here, but all embassies should come here, and I believe that over time most of them will indeed come here, to Jerusalem," he said.

Newly-inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump pledged during his electoral campaign to move the embassy to Jerusalem despite reluctance to do so by past administrations.

But the White House said last week that "no decisions" had been made on the planned embassy move, saying talks on the issue were still in the "very early stages".

On Saturday, Marc Zell, co-chair for the Israeli wing of the Republicans Overseas organization, told Israeli Army Radio he believed Trump had stalled the move after concerns were raised by Israeli officials.

While Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, it is not recognized as such by the international community and most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Palestinian leaders have repeatedly warned moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would mean recognizing it as Israel’s capital despite the continued occupation of East Jerusalem, which Israel took control of during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. 

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