US plans to open embassy in Jerusalem in May

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Washington, Feb 24 (IANS) The US State Department has said the United States is planning to open its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May, a move that has reversed long-time US policy and triggered global objection.

The embassy will initially be located in the Arnona neighbourhood in a building that now houses consular operations of US Consulate General Jerusalem, said the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement on Friday, Xinhua reported.

A new embassy annex on the Arnona compound is expected to be open by the end of 2019, Nauert added.

Meanwhile, the US has started searching for a site as the permanent US embassy to Israel, a process which Nauert described could be “a longer-term undertaking.”

The embassy opening in May will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary, the spokesperson added.

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Despite global opposition, Trump delivered one of his major campaign promises in December by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and demanded the State Department develop a plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Recently, Palestinian officials announced in many occasions that the US policies in the region threaten security and stability and cannot achieve peace in the Middle East.

–IANS

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