Trump, Netanyahu disagree on U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United States President Donald Trump have disagreed on the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu had said on Wednesday that the U.S. Embassy would relocate to Jerusalem in the next 12 months but Trump in a quick response rejected the claim saying that the move would be done gradually.
“By the end of the year?” Trump told Reuters in an exclusive interview. “We’re talking about different scenarios. I mean obviously that would be on a temporary basis. We’re not really looking at that. That’s a no.”
He stood by his decision to relocate the embassy and told the news agency that it will be “beautiful” and not one that costs $1.2 billion.
Trump had recently criticised the U.S. Embassy in London that he said cost $1.2 billion.
He tweeted last week that he would not come to London to open the new embassy because it represented a poor investment.
Trump’s decision to move the embassy in Israel prompted some blowback in the region. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump is unfit to broker any negotiations and called the move “sinful”
Trump upended decades of U.S. policy with his Dec. 6 announcement that he was recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Though Trump said he was merely recognising reality and not prejudging negotiations on the future borders of the city, Palestinians saw the move as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu believed that the American Embassy “will be moved faster in the course of the year, than what we think.”