Jordanian king warns US against moving embassy to Jerusalem

Abdullah II tells US lawmakers the promised step could stoke terrorism and undermine peace efforts

King Abdullah II of Jordan meets with US Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2017 (Jordanian Royal Court)
King Abdullah II of Jordan meets with US Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2017 (Jordanian Royal Court)

Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would threaten the prospects for peace, the Jordanian king told US decision-makers on Wednesday.

Emphasizing that there is no alternative to the two-state solution, King Abdullah II said in Washington that it was important no measures be taken to undermine US efforts to kickstart peace talks, the Jordan Times reported.

On Tuesday, US Vice President Mike Pence said US President Donald Trump was “actively considering” moving the embassy to Jerusalem, evoking a campaign promise that the administration had sidelined.

On Wednesday, Hadashot television news reported that in Israel, “there is a very high expectation” that Trump will declare that he “formally recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instructing his team to actively prepare to move the embassy.” The report said the declaration was expected within days, possibly as soon as Sunday.

The White House said the TV report was premature, and there was no official confirmation of the claim from Israel or the US.

The king, visiting Capitol Hill to discuss US-Jordanian strategic, military and economic cooperation, said that moving the embassy could only come as part of a comprehensive deal for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Taking that step now could prompt terrorists to whip up anger, frustration and desperation in order to spread their ideologies, he warned.

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