The US has announced that it shall be ready to open its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May.
This means the move from Tel Aviv shall come much earlier than expected, as Vice President Mike Pence announced last month that the move would likely take place in 2019.
Heather Nauert, a spokeswomen for the US State Department, has stated that ‘we are excited about taking this historic step, and look forward with anticipation to the May opening.’ Ms. Nauert also pointed out that the move shall coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.
President Donald Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the announcement as ‘great […] for the people of Israel.’
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reacted quite differently, however, claiming that the move ‘is an unacceptable step’ and shall ‘be an obstacle to any effort to create peace in the region.’
Other world leaders have criticised the US’ decision, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel making it clear that she ‘does not support’ the decision and Russian President Vladimir Putin saying ‘such steps are destabilizing, and don’t help to resolve the situation, but instead provoke conflict.’
More to follow.