(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.”
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.”