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Donald Trump delays moving US embassy to Jerusalem

US president signs six-month waiver delaying the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump has signed a waiver to delay relocating the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, the White House says.

The decision avoids a controversial step that would have complicated his efforts to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Trump, who pledged during the 2016 presidential campaign to move the embassy, chose instead to continue his predecessors' policy of signing a six-month waiver overriding a 1995 law requiring that the embassy be transferred to Jerusalem.

Palestinians argue that moving the embassy from Tel Aviv would prejudge one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict, undermining US status as an effective mediator.

"He has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy," the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

"The question is not if that move happens, but only when."

The White House said Trump "made this decision to maximise the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians".

The Palestinians and the Arab world fiercely oppose a move, and the international community has warned that it could prompt fresh unrest.


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