World America 05 Dec 2017 Trump’s decisi ...

Trump’s decision on Jerusalem delayed; Saudi Arabia says ‘may hurt peace process’

AFP / REUTERS | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Dec 5, 2017, 3:54 pm IST
Updated Dec 5, 2017, 3:54 pm IST
US announcement on the status of Jerusalem before a final settlement is reached in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would hurt the peace process and heighten regional tensions. (Photo: File)
 US announcement on the status of Jerusalem before a final settlement is reached in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would hurt the peace process and heighten regional tensions. (Photo: File)

Washington: US President Donald Trump's keenly awaited decision on whether to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will not come by a Monday deadline, the White House said.

"The president has been clear on this issue from the get-go: It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley hours before the administration's decision was due.

Saudi Arabia said on Monday any US announcement on the status of Jerusalem before a final settlement is reached in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would hurt the peace process and heighten regional tensions.

"Any US announcement on the status of Jerusalem prior to a final settlement would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region," Saudi Ambassador Prince Khalid bin Salman said in a statement.

"The kingdom's policy - has been - and remains in support of the Palestinian people, and this has been communicated to the US administration."

Trump was theoretically due Monday to decide whether to sign a legal waiver delaying by six months plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem - as successive administrations have done at regular intervals for more than two decades.

"No action though will be taken on the waiver today and we will declare a decision on the waiver in the coming days," Gidley said.

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