May 27, 2018

Trump can go to the opening of the Embassy in Jerusalem

28 April 2018, 07:39 | Simon Arnold

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A delegation from the executive committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held talks in Brussels with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on the USA decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

The move has caused widespread anger from Palestinian after Trump gave order in that direction few months ago.

Trump in the East Room of the White House said he "half-signed" an order to build a new embassy in Jerusalem, stopping after his first name, because he saw it would cost $1 billion.

Trump had in December announced Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He said he instinctively knew the embassy could be opened instead for a mere $300,000-$400,000, through a makeover of part of an existing U.S. installation. Trump also said that he "may go" to the embassy once it opens. "It's going to be lovely and it could be somewhat temporary", he said. He said this at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 27, reports Reuters.

He added: "As you know, the embassy in Jerusalem, it's been promised for many, many years by presidents".

According to sources at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, the embassy will be transferred in the first phase to the consulate building in the Arnona neighborhood, south of West Jerusalem.

"There is an apparent pattern of embassies moving to Jerusalem, and we have to start getting ready now", said an Israeli official.

While the United States will eventually move into a purpose-built embassy, its diplomats will initially operate out of the consulate in Jerusalem which is now being upgraded.

He told a story of being mid-signature on a document signing off on construction of the new facility when he noticed a billion-dollar price tag. The president said he spoke with his ambassador and favored the option to open the embassy in a section of an existing building, for $150,000. "We might have to build dozens of embassies, and we would need new land ready for that goal".

"We have a great site".

Friedman said, "I can build it for $150,000" by renovating part of a current USA property in Jerusalem al-Quds, and "instead of 10 years from now, we can open it up in three months", according to Trump. "And it will be somewhat temporary, but it could be for many years", he said.

"That's the way government works".

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