President Donald Trump declairs Jersualem israeli capital(Photo:PressTV)

Jerusalem (CNN)US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel wednesday in a move that will spark controversy across the world. The announcement moved Trump one step closer to fulfilling his campaign pledge to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a move long sought by Israel, but set aside by previous US Presidents due to regional concerns and Jerusalem’s contested status between Israelis and Palestinians. Both sides claim the holy city as their capital.

Will wait six months

Upon making his decision public, Trump is expected to sign a waiver to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months. But the State Department’s security arm has been told to plan for potentially violent protests at US embassies and consulates if the White House announces the move. CNN’s Oren Liebermann, who is based in Jerusalem, walks us through what’s at stake. President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and direct the State Department to begin the process to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, senior administration officials said.

The decision, which is already being cheered by the President’s supporters and the Israeli government, is expected to roil the region, with US Arab allies warning Trump on Tuesday that it will undermine regional stability and stymie the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump will sign a waiver delaying the embassy move for another six months to comply with the law, as senior administration officials said it will take years for the move to be completed. The Trump administration on Tuesday cast the move, which Trump will announce Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET, as a «recognition of reality» that Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government. Officials stressed that the decision would have no impact on the boundaries of future Israeli and Palestinian states as negotiated under a final status agreement.

Tried for twenty years

Senior administration officials briefing reporters Tuesday evening rejected suggestions that the decision would hurt the peace process, but offered no arguments to suggest the move would advance the peace process or US interests in the region. Instead, the officials said keeping the US embassy in Tel Aviv — despite legislation calling for a move to Jerusalem — had not advanced peace in more than two decades. «It seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal. It’s not an impediment to peace and it’s not a facilitator to peace,» one senior administration official said. «After having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgment of reality seems like an important thing.» Another senior administration official said Trump «came to the judgment that this was both the right time and the right step to take specifically with respect to his hopes that a peace can be achieved,» but offered no further specifics. The officials said Trump would reaffirm that he is prepared to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if both sides can agree to such a deal, reports Nordic News.

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