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US embassy to remain in Jerusalem: Blinken

20th Jan 2021
US embassy to remain in Jerusalem: Blinken

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA): The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, his nominee for secretary of state affirmed Tuesday.

“Do you agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and do you commit that the United States will keep our embassy in Jerusalem?” asked Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

“Yes and Yes,” said Antony Blinken in testimony at his Senate confirmation hearing,

Outgoing President Donald Trump announced the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017. The US moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May of the following year.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Mideast conflict, with Palestinians insisting that East Jerusalem – illegally occupied by Israel since 1967 – should serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

On a two-state solution in Palestine, the incoming diplomat said Biden thinks the best way “to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state and to give the Palestinians a state to which they are entitled is through the so-called two-state solution.”

“I think realistically, it’s hard to see near-term prospects for moving forward on that. What would be important is to make sure that neither party takes steps that make the already difficult process even more challenging,” he added.

[Photo: US President’s daughter Ivanka Trump (left 3) Israel Prime Minister’s wife Sara Netanyahu (left 2), Donald Trump’s son-in-law and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (R) and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. Photographer: Israel Press Office /Handout/AA]

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