Tillerson: Trump weighs embassy move impact on Mideast peace

16 May, 2017, 10:20 | Author: Valerie Burke

The American delegation accompanying Trump during his visit has reportedly expressed its opposition to a request from Netanyahu to share the podium with Trump in order to deliver a five to seven minute speech either before or after the USA president. "We believe Israel is willing, we believe you're willing, and if you both are willing, we're going to make a deal", he said at a joint press conference with Abbas.

The United States does not recognize that annexation, nor really does anybody else, though Israeli officials are keen to draw distinctions between the Old City, where the Western Wall is, East Jerusalem, and the rest of the occupied West Bank, even though from a legal perspective the distinctions are largely arbitrary.

In a bitter diplomatic incident, a senior member of the USA delegation making preparations for Trump's visit to Israel next week angrily rejected a request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany the president when he visits the Western Wall, Channel 2 reported Monday.

In Israel's latest diplomatic spat, officials summoned Carl Magnus Nesser, Sweden's ambassador to Tel Aviv, to express their "disappointment" after Sweden became the only European Union country to vote for the resolution.

Trump's first overseas trip as president will also include visits to Saudi Arabia and the Vatican.

The Israeli government is to discuss a draft law banning Israeli rights groups from defending Palestinians by petitioning theHigh Court, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed yesterday.

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"We wanted to come straight to the holiest place in the entire Jewish world, the "Kotel HaMaaravi", the Western Wall, straight from the airport", Friedman told reporters.

"My consistent and unequivocal position is that the U.S. Embassy should move to Jerusalem, as should other embassies", Netanyahu said at the meeting. "I prayed for the president and wished him success, and I said the blessing one says when reaching a new milestone".

In response, Netanyahu's Likud party accused the Bayit Yehudi leader of "surreal self-flagellation", insisting that Netanyahu was "standing resolutely and forcefully against all worldwide pressures, more than any other prime minister in recent decades".

The following day, Trump will speak at Masada, the Roman-era fortress in the Negev Desert, and meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Since 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 42 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student, mainly in stabbing assaults. Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state and past peace proposals have proposed splitting the city between East and West Jerusalem, or creating an internationally governed city.

"We know very well that India has very good relations with Palestine and Israel", Abbas said in his address to the India Islamic Cultural Center in New Delhi. Trump has said he wants Kushner to lead the peace process.

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