US Opens Embassy in Jerusalem; Trump: This Has ‘Been a Long Time Coming’
The United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday at a festive ceremony.
The delegation sent by President Donald Trump to the event included Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.
Other American officials in attendance on Monday included Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Numerous dignitaries, including a group of US Congress members, flew to Israel to take part in the embassy opening.
In a video message aired at the event, Trump said the embassy move had “been a long time coming.”
Trump also stated that he remained “committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians.
"On December 6th, 2017, at my direction, the United States finally and officially recognized Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel. Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem." #USEmbassyJerusalem pic.twitter.com/lne5FB7sB8
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 14, 2018
In his speech, Kushner said, “While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American embassy once they were in office, this president delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.”
Israel, Kushner noted, “proves every day the boundless power of freedom. This land is the only land in the Middle East in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths participate and worship freely according to their beliefs. Israel protects women’s rights, freedom of speech, and the right of every individual to reach their God-given potential.”
In what looked to be a reference to ongoing Palestinian unrest, Kushner said, “Those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”
Standing next to Mnuchin, who had just unveiled the embassy’s seal, Ivanka Trump declared, “On behalf of the 45th president of the United States, we welcome you officially and for the first time to the embassy of the United States, here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for “having the courage to keep your promises.”
“What a glorious day for Israel,” Netanyahu told the crowd. “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said, “President Trump, the Israeli people, thank you for keeping your word, for your courage, for your determination, and for your firm, unwavering stand alongside the State of Israel. We hope and expect that other nations will follow your path and your leadership. We will continue to safeguard Jerusalem, as the city of peace, as a city home to all those of faith. A city of all its residents and citizens, of all religions and communities, who share together, one city, which is so greatly loved.”
Last December, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered the relocation of the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Watch the ceremony below: