Trump team, Netanyahu renew talks on US embassy move to Jerusalem

L-R: Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.. Ron Dermer, U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell. and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman meet in Tel Aviv on August 24, 2017. (photo: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO)

Hot-button issue was “brought up by both sides” in discussions last week between the PM and US envoys Kushner and Greenblatt.

By Raoul Wootliff / The Times of Israel
August 28, 2017

[Ed. note: The U.N. Security Council has consistently maintained that East Jerusalem, captured in the 1967 War, is occupied territory subject to the Geneva Convention. The Security Council has declared Israel’s attempt to make Jerusalem the “eternal and indivisible” capital of Israel to be in violation of international law. There are 82 foreign embassies in Israel, none of them is located in Jerusalem.]

“Needless to say, the [U.S.] administration’s policy is ‘when not if.’”

Senior members of the Trump administration and Israeli officials renewed talks over the possibility of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a promise repeatedly made by the president in the 2016 election campaign, during high-level meetings in Israel last week, the Times of Israel has learned.

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday as part of a visit to the region in a bid to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

During that meeting, the embassy move “was brought up by both sides as part of a productive broad conversation about a number of issues,” a US source familiar with the discussions said Sunday, declining to reveal the specifics of discussion.

Trump backtracked on the pledge in June, signing a waiver which pushed off moving the embassy for at least another six months.

“Needless to say, the administration’s policy is ‘when not if,’” the source added, referring to statements US officials made when signing the waiver promising that the move would take place during Trump’s presidency.

Earlier Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely had told The Times of Israel that issue did not come up during last week’s meetings, to her disappointment. “We were told that the move [of the embassy] would go ahead but it wasn’t on the table and there hasn’t been any progress on it. I hope there will be soon,” she said.

[Read the full article here . . . ]