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Palestinians say Trump told Abbas of ‘intention to move’ embassy to Jerusalem

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US President Donald Trump told Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in a phone call Tuesday that he intended to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Abbas’s office said. Trump “informed the president (Abbas) on his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” a statement from the Palestinian presidency said.

It was not clear from the statement if Trump planned to move the embassy immediately or at some point in the future, with no further details provided. Moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would mark a major shift in US policy that would upturn decades of precedent and run contrary to international consensus.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Monday that Trump “has been clear on this issue from the get-go: It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.” He said a declaration on the move would be made “in the coming days.” In Tuesday’s call, Abbas in turn “warned of the dangerous consequences of such a decision on the peace process, security and stability in the region and the world,” the statement said.

“The president reaffirms our firm position that there can be no Palestinian state without east Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the resolutions of international law and the Arab peace initiative,” it said. Abbas “will continue his communications with world leaders to prevent such an unacceptable and rejected step.”

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