U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that it will likely take several years before the United States opens an embassy in Jerusalem, and that the decision did not indicate a final status for Jerusalem.
Tillerson's comments were made during a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris. He said it will "take some time" to acquire a site for the embassy, develop building and construction plans, obtain authorizations from the Israeli government and actually build the embassy.Tillerson says it won't happen this year, and probably not in 2018.
He also said Trump's recognition of the city as Israel's capital "did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem." He added that the U.S. is making clear that Jerusalem's borders will be left to Israelis and Palestinians to "negotiate and decide."
Experts and lawmakers have said that the U.S. president's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a historic mistake that will erode American credibility in the region and the U.S.'s role in the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said in a tweet after Trump announced that he has told Israeli and Arab leaders of his controversial move, "There's a reason why all past US administrations have not made this move, and why leaders around the world have warned Trump against it: It would undermine the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and severely, perhaps irreparably, damage our ability to broker it."
U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, the former Under Secretary of State, said prior to Trump's decision in a tweet that, the move was "a historic mistake," and continued, "All prior American presidents since Truman knew the U.S. could not prejudge a future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement on one of the most sensitive issues. Irresponsible." Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein had said the decision – when it was still a rumor – would "spark violence and embolden extremists on both sides of the debate" and that it will undermine "American credibility as an unbiased mediator" in the peace process and also "any remaining hope for a two-state solution."
Among American Jewish organizations, J Street and New Israel Fund had also released statement opposing Trump's move, saying it that the issue should not be dealt with through a unilateral decision by the U.S.
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