GOP urges Biden to keep US embassy in Jerusalem

Washington [US], February 7 (ANI): Republican Senator from Tennessee, Bill Hagerty on Saturday wrote to US President Joe Biden urging him to publicly confirm that he will keep the US Embassy in Jerusalem after the upper chamber overwhelmingly signalled support for the location last week.

“This is not a difficult question and should not require any deliberation,” Hagerty wrote in the letter, which was quoted by The Hill.

The upper chamber on Friday passed a non-binding amendment introduced by Hagerty and GOP (another name for the Republican Party), Senator Jim Inhofe, from Oklahoma by a vote of 97-3 in support of maintaining the embassy in Jerusalem. The embassy was relocated there during the Donald Trump-led administration from Tel Aviv after previous presidents had punted on the move.

When asked about whether the Biden administration supports keeping the embassy there (in Jerusalem), press secretary Jen Psaki said she had not spoken with the national security team but would follow up on the matter, The Hill reported on Friday.

“In order to correct the discrepancy that unfortunately now exists between our two branches of government and send an unequivocal message to our allies in Israel, I urge you to confirm–immediately and publicly–that your Administration will continue to implement U.S. law and maintain the American Embassy’s location in Jerusalem,” Hagerty wrote in the letter.

The GOP senator who previously served as ambassador to Japan, also urged the President to build on the Abraham Accords, a series of agreements the Trump administration brokered to normalize relations between a handful of Middle Eastern countries.

A White House official said the U.S. position is that its embassy will remain in Jerusalem, which the administration recognizes as Israel’s capital. “The ultimate status of Jerusalem will need to be resolved through direct negotiations,” the official added.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously signaled his support for keeping it in Jerusalem during his confirmation hearing.

“Do you agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and do you commit that the United States will keep our embassy in Jerusalem?” Senator Ted Cruz from Texas asked during the hearing last month.

“Yes and yes,” Blinken responded.

Trump in May 2018 moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, fulfilling a campaign promise and following through on a US policy decision that was routinely delayed since 1995 to relocate the embassy from the beachfront city to the Holy City, The Hill reported. (ANI)

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