US to Re-Open Jerusalem Consulate
By Micah Halpern
According to State Department spokesperson Ned Price, the Biden administration has announced that they are 100% committed to re-opening a U.S. consulate in Jerusalem and the administration is discussing the issue with Israelis and with Palestinians.
In May of 2018, then U.S. President Donald Trump moved Washington's embassy to Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. That move resulted in the shutting down of a separate facility in the city that served as a consulate for Palestinians.
President Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in 2020, pledged to reopen the consulate, but no date has been set.
Israel has publicly opposed the Biden plan and suggested that if the United States is determined to re-open a consulate, it should be located outside Jerusalem, in the West Bank.
According to Price: "There are a number of steps that have to go into the reopening of any diplomatic facility. As you know, there are some shall we say unique sensitivities to this particular facility ... We are working through the issue with our Palestinian and Israeli partners."
The Times of Israel, citing unidentified U.S. and Palestinian officials, reported that in lieu of reopening the facility, Washington was planning to appoint the current top State Department diplomat for the region, Hady Amr, as a special envoy to the Palestinians.
Asked about The Times of Israel report, Price said he did not have any personnel announcements to make.
To be continued, this issue has not yet been resolved.
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3 June 2022 03:29 PM in Thoughts
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