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February 13, 2017 11:34 am
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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Says Trump Was Ready to Announce Embassy Relocation to Jerusalem at ’12:01′ on Inauguration Day

avatar by Ruthie Blum

US Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). Photo: Alchetron.

US Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). Photo: Alchetron.

President Donald Trump was prepared to announce the move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem a minute after his inauguration last month, junior Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said in an interview this week.

On The Global Politico podcast posted on Monday, Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told host Susan B. Glasser that when he was interviewed late November for the position of secretary of state, he got the impression that relocating the embassy was “going to be their first move.”

“They were ready to move the embassy at 12:01 on Jan. 20, maybe 12 and 30 seconds,” Corker said, going on to explain why he thinks that did not happen.

“[M]y question at the time is, how does Israel feel about that? They’ve never had a closer relationship with the Arab world. I mean, the Iran deal… was not the kind of agreement we should have entered into…But the one plus in the Iran deal is it brought the Arab community close to Israel…So when you’ve got a situation like that, do you really want to destroy this alliance that is unprecedented and is real?”

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Corker went on to say that he believes Israel is now “ready… for the embassy to move to Jerusalem,” and that it “may be waiting…until after [Ambassador-designate David Friedman] is confirmed to make additional moves.”

However, he said, “I think that they’ve got to communicate to the Arab world that this is not doing away or dampening in any way the two-state solution. And so there’s a lot of communication that’s got to come with this.”

Among the Arab leaders Corker then mentioned was King Abdullah of Jordan, who was in Washington last week.

Calling King Abdullah “sort of the Henry Kissinger of that part of the world,” Corker said that “anything that flies in the face” of the two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians “could be viewed as a diss…to him.” Which is why, Corker said, the whole embassy issue should be “communicated properly” and prepared in advance.

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