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The Financial Express

US to open its embassy in Jerusalem next year

| Updated: January 23, 2018 00:04:35


US Vice President Mike Pence, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday. - CNN US Vice President Mike Pence, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday. - CNN

The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem before the end of 2019, announced US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday at the Israeli parliament.

The US vice president also reiterated that the city was "the capital of the state of Israel."

Pence is the most senior US official to visit Jerusalem since President Donald Trump's controversial announcement last month.

At the Knesset, Pence said it was thanks to Trump that "the alliance between our two countries has never been stronger, and the friendship between our peoples has never been deeper -- and I am here to convey a simple message from the hearts of the American people. America stands with Israel."

"We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight."

Pence was earlier given a warm welcome to the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, greeted by an honour guard as the US national anthem played, said CNN.

He said he was "hopeful that we are at the dawn of a new era, of renewed discussions to achieve a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict that has affected this region."

He added that Trump's December 6 announcement "would create an opportunity to move on in good-faith negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."

In December 6, Trump recognised the city as Israel's capital and said to move its embassy there.

Both Israelis and Palestinians consider Jerusalem as their capital.

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