President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that the United States will formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“That city is Israel’s capital,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Trump acknowledged that his decision was driven by a political campaign pledge, saying that “while previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
The president went on to say that his decision “is not intended in any way” to hamper a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. He also said the United States would “support a two state solution if agreed to by both sides.”
But Trump’s decision has already angered leaders across the Middle East, who warned the president that his decision would effectively doom any future peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and could further destabilize the entire Middle East.
Jerusalem has long been a divided city, with West Jerusalem serving as the seat of Israel’s government. Palestinians, however, consider East Jerusalem as the rightful capital of any future Palestinian state.
Trump said he would immediately begin the process of designing and building a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Upon completion, he said, it “will be a magnificent tribute to peace.”