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Trump Recognizes Jerusalem As Israeli Capital, To Move To U.S. Embassy


Breaking with decades of U.S. policy, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump said in remarks from the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room that the U.S. would also begin preparations to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said. "While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering."

Trump said he has determined that the move is in the best interests of the U.S. and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The president argued that acknowledging Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to choose its own capital is a necessary condition to achieving peace.

Noting that Jerusalem is the home of the Israeli parliament, Trump called the decision a recognition of reality as well as the "right thing to do."

Trump claimed that the move was not an indication of a departure from the U.S. commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians," Trump said. "We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders."

"Those questions are up to the parties involved," he added. "The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides."

Trump said the U.S. would support a two-state solution but called on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites in the meantime.

The decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital comes even though allies encouraged Trump to reconsider amid concerns the move will ignite violence in the region.

(Photo: Michael Vadon)

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