Mon, 04 Dec 2023

The United States says it is in the 'very beginning' of discussing plans to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The White House statement on January 22 comes amid media reports in Israel that U.S. President Donald Trump is on the verge of announcing the move.

Trump spoke the same day with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying only that the talks were 'very nice.'

Netanyahu said Trump had invited him to visit Washington next month and he had accepted the invitation. He said the two had a 'very warm' phone conversation.

Trump had pledged during his campaign for the presidency to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a move that would upset Palestinians and Arab countries in the region.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said on January 22 that he welcomes the Trump administration's announcement on the embassy's move.

Netanyahu said before the phone call that he planned to meet with Trump soon to discuss what he sees are the dangers from Iran and its "cruel" government.

Earlier on January 22, Israeli authorities in Jerusalem approved the construction of 566 new settler homes in three settlements in the eastern part of the city.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told Israeli radio that the decision had been postponed until U.S. President Barack Obama -- who was critical of new Israeli settlements in the occupied areas -- had left office.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, AP, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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