Washington, March 4, 2019 (dpa/NNN) The U.S. consulate and embassy in Jerusalem will merge into a single diplomatic mission, the U.S. State Department confirmed on Monday.
The Trump administration’s December 2017 decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem upended decades of U.S. policy towards the contested city and enraged Palestinians.
The Jerusalem embassy officially opened in May and in October the U.S. announced the merger plan.
The consulate was Washington’s main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians and the move was criticised by them as a sign the U.S. was no longer working for a two-state solution.
On Sunday, deputy spokesman, Robert Palladino, the State Department insisted the move did not “signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip’’.
“As the president has stated, the United States continues to take no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders.’’
According to him, the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.
“The administration remains fully committed to efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future to Israel and the Palestinians,’’ Palladino added. (dpa/NNN)
Edited by Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde
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