White House says Trump Admin committed to Mideast peace process

World Today

A Palestinian paints over a mural of the U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest in Bethlehem, West Bank, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Defying dire, worldwide warnings, President Donald Trump on Wednesday broke with decades of U.S. and international policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Washington defends its unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem.

The White House said it is an expression of reality – but will not change its goal of finding lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

Many U.S. Presidents have said they were going to do it when running for office- but as Donald Trump told the nation and the world Wednesday he is the first to actually formally recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

“Through all of these years, Presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all. But today we finally acknowledge the obvious – that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” President Trump said.

“We are as committed as ever to peace process,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said during a press briefing on Thursday.

But apart from delivering on a campaign promise– what will actually happen?

Well the President said the actual moving of the embassy will take years- but the fallout is happening immediately.

Apart from the clear delight of the Israeli government the rest of the world is reacting with everything from concern —  to questions as to the U.S. President’s motives as a supposed honest broker in the peace process.

The United Nations Security Council in New York will hold an emergency meeting on Friday.

Eight members of the council called for the meeting: Bolivia, Britain, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay, forming a somewhat unusual coalition. 

And they have asked the U.N. Secretary-General to open the meeting who has already made his feelings clear on the issue.

The U.S. action may actually be a breach of UNSC resolutions that have declared East Jerusalem occupied territory since Israel took over the whole city following the 1967 six-day war. 

The Jerusalem announcement also comes at a time of media reports that said Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s plan also may not include a right to return for Palestinian refugees and would grant land occupied by Jewish settlers largely to Israel.

Those reports have been dismissed by the White House but given the Jerusalem decision confidence that any viable Peace plan will come out of the White House is waning fast.