Jerusalem Embassy to open in 2019

Jerusalem Embassy to open in 2019

US Vice President Mike Pence has pointedly referred to Jerusalem as Israel's capital as he met the country's leader, further vexing Palestinians who have already snubbed his visit.

Arab lawmakers in Israel will boycott Vice President Mike Pence's speech to the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on Monday, citing the USA decision to recognize the contested city as the capital of Israel.

Pence was interrupted at the start of his speech by members of the Joint Arab List parliamentary group (which does not represent all Arab members of the Knesset and which has Jewish members).

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson estimated that the move was "probably no earlier than three years out, and that's pretty ambitious". Ms Mogherini restated the EU's support for the two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital and opposition to Israeli settlement building.

"We raised the slogan that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine in response to Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel".

"The US Embassy will open [in Jerusalem] before the end of next year", said Pence.

He made no reference to Mr Trump's move on Jerusalem or to comments on the issue made, also on Monday, in Jerusalem by US Vice President Mike Pence.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will call on the European Union to officially recognize the state of Palestine during a Monday meeting with the bloc.

"And that United States embassy will open before the end of next year".

"Peace can only come through dialogue", Pence said.

However, Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, which Israel captured and annexed in 1967.

In the Christian West Bank city of Bethlehem, banners read "Bethlehem refuses USA vice president's visit" in close proximity to the said birthplace of Jesus, the Church of the Nativity. "The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides".

The protesters gathered in Bethlehem's Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity in a largely symbolic show of anger at Pence's two-day trip to Israel, according to AFP.

Palestinians view Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as a blatantly one-sided move.

Palestinians are highly sceptical of Trump administration's role in peace talks about believe the United States will press Ramallah heavily to accept a settlement that benefits Israel.

On Dec. 21, 128 countries rejected Trump's move at the United Nations General Assembly, calling on the withdraw the decision.



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