Tillerson: Trump weighs embassy move impact on Mideast peace

Violet Tucker
May 16, 2017

Both Netanyahu and Abbas have visited the White House since Trump's inauguration, with the US President vowing to work as a "mediator" for Mideast peace.

The White House official did not say whether Netanyahu will be able to join Trump when he visits the Western Wall on his trip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office is pushing back against a Fox News correspondent's claim that the prime minister told President Trump not to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem right now.

Republican Party mega-donor Sheldon Adelson was "furious" about comments Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made concerning the USA embassy in Israel, sources close to the casino magnate told Axios.

Hugh Lovatt, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said Trump has sought to emphasize the religious dimension of his first foreign trip.

Tillerson's harmful comments not only infuriated supporters of Israel, but they garnered a direct response from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Israel's Channel 2 news first reported that Trump was considering a speech from the Negev wonder, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it is yet to be confirmed whether the United States president will make any address during his visit. It said the comment prompted shouting from the Israeli preparatory team.

But U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster suggested on Friday that Trump could move closer to the two-state principle when he meets Abbas, saying the U.S. president will express his desire for "self-determination" for the Palestinian people.

"I've come straight to the holiest place in the entire Jewish world, straight from the airport", he said. The billionaire is a fierce critic of US efforts to negotiate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has called Palestinians "an invented people" who want to destroy Israel. "I prayed for the president and wished him success, and I said the blessing one says when reaching a new milestone".

Palestine is against any kind of military intervention to resolve the dispute, said Abbas who will also be meeting his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow.

He said he will ask Modi tomorrow to use Indias "good offices" in bringing in peace between Israel and Palestine.

"The President has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we can not advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine", Tillerson said.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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