World Tillerson, others say Jerusalem step changes 'nothing'

03:50  08 december  2017
03:50  08 december  2017 Source:   CNN

Tillerson: Jerusalem embassy move not this year or next

  Tillerson: Jerusalem embassy move not this year or next Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "is not something that is going to happen this year, probably not next year." Speaking in Paris with his French counterpart, Tillerson said that President Donald Trump had ordered the State Department to "start the process of making the move" but that it would take time. They still needed to acquire a site, make construction and building plans, ensure necessary authorizations and then build the embassy itself.

Mr. Trump has not signed off on the plan developed by John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, officials said , but the president is said to have soured on Mr. Tillerson and is ready to make a change at the State Department.

"The reality is, as you wake up today after this announcement, is nothing is different, other than the President has now implemented the 1995 law" that calls on the administration to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem , Tillerson said .

Rex Tillerson wearing a suit and tie © CNN

State Department officials on Thursday defended President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying it reflects the will of the American people and arguing that in practice it changes "nothing."

Their pushback came as major US allies, geopolitical rivals, religious leaders and many analysts warned about the potential for Trump's decision to further destabilize the Middle East and undermine the idea of Washington as a neutral arbiter of peace talks.

In the West Bank, Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli security forces, injuring at least 49, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent, and the leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called for a new "intifada," or uprising. Security analysts warned of the possibility of broader protests on Friday, the day Muslimsacross the region go to their mosques for prayers. Security at US diplomatic missions has been boosted in preparation.

Trump likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital next week: official

  Trump likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital next week: official U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to deliver a speech on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, a move that could upend decades of American policy and further inflame tensions in the Middle East. Two administration officials said on Thursday that even as Trump was considering a controversial declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he was expected to again delay his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

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‘ Change in world order’. Diplomats said EU government face a dilemma because Tillerson ’s views are more closely aligned with theirs but may not U.S. President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which Gabriel also said could unleash turmoil.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking in Austria, insisted that Trump's announcement hasn't really changed anything.

"The reality is, as you wake up today after this announcement, is nothing is different, other than the President has now implemented the 1995 law" that calls on the administration to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Tillerson said.

In Washington, acting Assistant Secretary David Satterfield said the consulate in Jerusalem would continue to operate in the same way and that passports for those born in Jerusalem would still be issued in the same way, with only the contested city named, and not a country.

"There has been no change in our policy with respect to consular practice or passport issuance," Satterfield told reporters. He added that the Trump administration is considering what to do about maps of the city. 

Turkey says recognizing Jerusalem as capital would cause catastrophe

  Turkey says recognizing Jerusalem as capital would cause catastrophe A formal U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would cause catastrophe and lead to new conflict in the Middle East, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday. Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, Bozdag, who is also the government spokesman, said Jerusalem's status had been determined by international agreements and that preserving it was important for the peace of the region."The status of Jerusalem and Temple Mount have been determined by international agreements. It is important to preserve Jerusalem's status for the sake of protecting peace in the region," Bozdag said.

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that, in recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Donald Trump " Nothing is different other than the president has now implemented the 1995 law," he said , insisting Washington wants Your existing password has not been changed .

Maps, borders, sovereignty

"We are, of course, examining that issue, and when we have a decision we will announce it, with respect to how we will treat Jerusalem for official" US government mapping purposes, he said. And while the US now officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, "we are not changing or taking a position on the boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem," he said, "including geographic boundaries."

Questions of sovereignty and borders, officials continued to stress, will still be left for final status negotiations. And Tillerson said that while the President had directed him to start working on moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the move won't happen anytime soon.

For starters, Trump signed a waiver putting off a move for another six months, a step he took for "logistical" reasons, administration officials said.

"We have to acquire a site, we have to develop building plans, we'll have to construct a building," Tillerson said. "So this is not something that will happen overnight."

European allies give Tillerson an earful about Trump's decision on Jerusalem

  European allies give Tillerson an earful about Trump's decision on Jerusalem It was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's bad luck that he was in Europe meeting with dozens of U.S. allies when President Donald Trump, on Wednesday, announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which angered much of the world. Tillerson, who wound up a five-day, four-city, three-country tour Friday, got an earful from one foreign minister after another. The Jerusalem decision was opposed by nearly every U.S. ally — except Israel — and by Russia and the Arab and Muslim world.

Tillerson says steps are "underway" to remove Bashar Assad as Syria's president. "It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime," Tillerson said .

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson with Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign policy chief, in Brussels on Tuesday. “A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as a future capital of both states,” she said .

Asked by reporters in Vienna whether the Jerusalem announcement compounds a separation between the US and traditional allies, who remain part of the Paris Agreement on climate change and continue to back the Iran nuclear deal, Tillerson said the Jerusalem decision reflected popular opinion.

"The president is simply carrying out the will of the American people," Tillerson said.

Some polling counters Tillerson's claim. A University of Maryland Critical Issues poll released December 1 found that 63% of Americans oppose moving the embassy to Jerusalem, including 44% of Republicans. The pollsters questioned 2,000 people and had a margin of error of 2.19%.

Tillerson said, however, that the administration's decision was simply "an acknowledgment of what is reality on the ground."

"The reality is Israel's government, its courts, its Prime Minister's office, is all in Jerusalem today," he said.

Pope Francis defends Jerusalem 'status quo' .
Pope Francis Wednesday defended the "status quo" of Jerusalem, hours ahead of an announcement by US President Donald Trump in which officials said he will recognise the disputed city as Israel's capital."I cannot silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days. At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions," the pope said in his weekly address.

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