Speed Reads

diplomacy

Trump backs away from pledge to move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem

President Trump on Thursday signed a waiver deferring the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The waiver delays action required by a law Congress passed in 1995 that made it U.S. policy to move the diplomatic headquarters. Trump repeatedly promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem during his presidential campaign.

The location of the U.S. embassy is a symbolic struggle, as Jerusalem is claimed by both Jews and Arabs as a religious capital, while Tel Aviv is secular. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was "disappointed" by Trump's decision to delay the move, while Palestine said the deferral "gives peace a chance."

Trump said last month that peace between Israel and Palestine "is something that I think is frankly, maybe, not as difficult as people have thought over the years."