Tillerson: Trump wants to understand how moving embassy to Jerusalem would affect peace process


(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that President Donald Trump is considering how a potential moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would affect the peace process.

“The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all the interested parties in the region and understanding what such a move in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have,” Tillerson told reporter Chuck Todd at the end of a nearly quarter-hour interview Sunday morning on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“As you know the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine,” he added.

“The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact the peace process,” Tillerson said, adding that the decision “will be informed by the parties involved in the talks.”

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He said among other opinions that would be taken into consideration would be “whether Israel views it as helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction.”

The Prime Minister’s office later responded to Tillerson’s statement saying: “Not only will the transfer of the embassy not harm the peace process, but quite the opposite. It will advance it by correcting a historic injustice and by smashing the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”