US President Donald Trump announced yesterday that the U.S. formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said during a news conference at the White House.
Trump said his announcement was the “beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
“I am also directing the State Department to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a magnificent tribute to peace.”
Before the announcement most of the international community warned Trump against the move, insisting it would be obstructive to the fragile peace process. Leaders from Turkey, EU, the U.K., France and the Arab League called on U.S. to stick to the international law and numerous U.N. resolutions on the issue.
During the announcement, Trump said he did not want to follow suit of previous U.S. president who refused to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, adding “it would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.”
Trump also said that the U.S. was “deeply committed to establishing a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides” and “would support a two-state solution, if agreed to by both sides.”
“I call on all parties to maintain the status quo. Above all our greatest hope is for peace. The incredible potential of this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance and terror. It is time to expel the extremists in our midst,” Trump said.
Announcing the move, Trump cited the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which overwhelmingly passed Congress and became law in 1995 and called for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem during Democrat Bill Clinton’s presidency.
But Clinton, and all of his successors until Trump, signed a waiver every six months that suspended the law on the grounds that it would be detrimental to U.S. national security interests.