Jordan's King Warns Trump Against Moving U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, State Media Reports

King Abdullah and U.S. President Trump had a 'good conversation,' White House says, doesn't mention if embassy relocation discussed.

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Jordanian King Abdullah II (L) meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on February 2, 2017.
Jordanian King Abdullah II (L) meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on February 2, 2017.Credit: YOUSEF ALLAN / AFP
Jack Khoury
Amir Tibon
Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - Jordan's King Abdullah warned U.S. President Donald Trump against relocating the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in their meeting in Washington on Thursday, the Jordanian state news agency reported on Thursday.

Abdullah, the first Middle East leader to meet the U.S. president since his inauguration, told Trump that moving the embassy could threaten the two-state solution and have a detrimental effect on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The White House said the two enjoyed a "good conversation" on a range of regional issues, but did not mention the U.S. embassy relocation. 

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The King has been in Washington since Monday and has also met with Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis and senior members of Congress.

On Tuesday, Abdullah told the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that senior security and intelligence officials in Israel are concerned the relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would cause a violent escalation, Buzzfeed reported.

A member of the committee told the website that Abdullah noted that Israeli security officials are also concerned such a move, which was announced as imminent by U.S. President Donald Trump, would drive new members to Islamic State.

Jordan's King Abdullah, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jared Kushner at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., February 2, 2017.Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

Before Trump took office, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior ministers were briefed on what scenarios could arise if Trump announces the relocation of the embassy.

The Israeli army and police discussed their preparations for scenarios of limited violence or even a conflagration across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. One official noted that since the issue revolves around Jerusalem, the Palestinians believed that the matter has religious overtones, further increasing its sensitivity.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Trump in Washington on February 15.

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