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Trump Signs Waiver Delaying Embassy Move, Despite Personal Preferences

posted on: Jun 1, 2017

Trump Signs Waiver Delaying Embassy Move, Despite Personal Preferences
Photo Credit: BBC

By: Colby Cyrus/Contributing Writer

In a reversal of campaign promises, President Donald Trump signed a waiver on Thursday which temporarily keeps the American embassy at its current location in Tel Aviv. The decision comes shortly after President Trump’s visit to the Middle East, which included a trip to Palestine centered around the possibility of creating peace in the contested region.

 The move seems to have been made in the interest of keeping peace talks feasible within the region. Despite his campaign pledge to transfer the American embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem, peace appears to have taken precedence, highlighting the president’s optimism that there are solutions for the region.

 Regardless of the current decision, President Trump still remains committed to relocating the embassy to Jerusalem, administration officials say. The waiver delays the move for another six months, at which point the president will face the same decision.

 The signing of the waiver comes a few short days after the president returned to Washington from his first trip abroad since taking office, a voyage which included visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Palestine.

Mohamed Mohamed, executive director of the Jerusalem Fund, does not foresee the embassy move taking place anytime in the near future. “He will probably sign the waiver every six months, as Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama did before him. The backlash from Palestinians, Arabs, and the Muslim world would be a headache that President Trump and his advisers would want to avoid”, Mr. Mohamed said in a statement today.

The current administration will likely try to favor a negotiated peace deal which is stable in the long term, said analyst Yousef Munayyer of the Arab Center. Mr. Munayyer noted that President Trump, like those before him, is aware of the implications of such an action on the regional peace process. An embassy move would endanger the possibility of successful deliberations that President Trump championed during his trip abroad.

 The president has prioritized peace over campaign promises, potentially illustrating a change of direction which may have been sparked by his recent meetings with Arab and Muslim allies. President Trump’s long-term commitment to harmony in the region will become clearer in the coming months, and indeed years when he is faced with the same decision regarding the location of the American Embassy.