Speaking to thousands of pro-Israel activists, Vice President Mike Pence said the United States is still considering moving the US Embassy in Israel — an action expected to be met with strong opposition in the Arab world.
“After decades of simply talking about it, the President of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Pence told the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday. The pro-Israel lobby, popularly known as AIPAC, is holding the event in Washington.
The embassy promise was a mainstay of President Trump’s campaign speeches, but the administration backed off making the move immediately once it took office.
In the interim, the new US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who is expected to be sworn in this week, is initially expected to live and work out of Jerusalem.
It is great to be back to @AIPAC! And it is my privilege to speak on behalf of a true friend of Israel – @POTUS Donald Trump. #AIPAC2017
— Vice President Pence (@VP) March 27, 2017
During a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month, President Trump said, “I’d love to see that happen. We’re looking at it very, very strongly. We’re looking at it with great care.”
While Congress passed a law to move the embassy in 1995, Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama all signed waivers to suspend it. The current waiver, signed by President Obama, expires June 1.
The Palestine Liberation Organization has said it will revoke its recognition of Israel if the embassy is moved.
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SOURCE: CNN, Kevin Bohn and Elise Labott