Vice-President of the United States made a speech to the Knesset
Vice-President Mike Pence said Monday that by the end of 2019 the United States will move its Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“In the coming weeks, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, and it will open before the end of next year,” said Pence, speaking before the Knesset in tel Aviv.
“Jerusalem – capital of Israel, and in this regard, the President of trump instructed the state Department to begin preparations for the transfer of the Embassy from tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” he added.
President trump has departed from long-standing U.S. policy, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiating a migration process of the American Embassy in this city.
Earlier, Secretary of state Tillerson said that the transfer of the Embassy may take years.
Netanyahu thanked trump and Pence “historical statement” and noted that the us-Israeli relationship “as strong as ever.”
Trump’s decision sparked strong criticism from Palestinian leaders, including the President of the Palestinian authority Mahmoud Abbas, who said that the USA can no longer participate in the peace process.
Arab members of Knesset said that they will boycott the speech. Netanyahu has condemned their decision at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, calling Pence “a great and true friend of Israel.”
Pens arrived in Israel from Jordan, where king Abdullah expressed his concern in connection with the decision on Jerusalem and urged the U.S. to “restore credibility” in the context of finding a solution based on the principle of two States.
King Abdullah said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved only on the basis of the principle of two States where for a long time the international community wants. He also said that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Pence said that the parties recognized the existence of differences in the question of Jerusalem.
“My friends from time to time there is a disagreement and we agreed that we have differences on the issue of Jerusalem. We agreed that all parties should sit at the negotiating table. I hope I managed to convince him of our sincere desire to restart the peace process,” said Pence to reporters after the meeting.
Before Penny Jordan visited Cairo, where he promised that the U.S. will continue to support Egypt in its fight against terrorism.
Pence also met with the us military in the region before flying to Israel.