Tillerson: Jerusalem Embassy Move Won't Happen Next Year

The U.S. secretary of state cited logistical reasons for the delay in moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a press conference on December 8, 2017 in Paris.
Patrick Kovarik / AFP

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jeruaslem is likely to take at least two years due to logistical reasons. Tillerson stated that the move probably won't happen "this year or next year."

He added that Jerusalem's "final status" will be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

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Tillerson's statement comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, a move that has sparked widespread unrest among Palestinians, and drawn criticism from numerous world leaders.

During Trump's speech on Jerusalem, he said that he had directed the State Department to begin preparing the embassy move to Jerusalem, which he said included hiring architects, engineers and planners for a new embassy that would be "a magnificent tribute to peace."

Earlier this week Trump told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah II of his plans to move the embassy. During the call with Abbas, the Palestinian leader warned Trump that the move would have "dangerous consequences," adding that "the Palestinian stance is determined and steadfast - there will not be a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital according to decisions by the international community."

Last week, Jordan's King Abdullah II warned the Trump administration and senior members of Congress about the dangers of moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The king said during a working visit to Washington that such a move could strengthen terrorist groups across the Middle East and lead to the collapse of any peace initiative currently being planned by the Trump administration.