A SIGN calls on US President Donald Trump to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Saturday that he wanted to give a shot at achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians before moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In June, Trump signed a temporary order to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv, despite a campaign promise he made to move it to Jerusalem.
In an interview with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on the TBN program "Huckabee," Trump noted his administration was working on a plan for peace between the two sides.
"I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem," he said.
"If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it'll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen," he said.
Asked if there was a time frame for the embassy move, Trump said: "We're going to make a decision in the not too distant future."
Hours before going on air, Trump took to Twitter to promote the show and his appearance on it, inviting his followers to watch him make an appearance on Huckabee's show as his very first guest. The fact that Huckabee managed to snag such an important guest for the first episode of his show was criticized by many, seeing as the former governor's daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, currently serves as White House Press Secretary.
Trump delays moving US embassy to Jerusalem (credit: REUTERS)
Many in Israel were looking forward for the president to make good on his campaign pledge and move the embassy from Tel Aviv to the capital, but were disappointed to discover that Trump was backtracking on his promise
as the first months of his presidency and his key Israel visit both went by without significant progress towards a move.
Trump's decision to halt the embassy relocation was perceived as a stinging blow, despite the fact that he has sent officials from his administration with increasing frequency in recent months to attempt to accelerate the stagnant peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Both Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law who serves as a shadow diplomat in the White House in charge of US-led peace efforts, and US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt have visited the region numerous times in the past six months to negotiate with government officials in Israel as well as Palestinian Authority representatives.