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Politics

A US diplomat : «Donald Trump was determined to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem for years» [Interview]

Following the US President’s decision of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the city as the capital of Israel, Yabiladi spoke to Brian T. Neubert, Director of the U.S. State Department’s Africa Regional Media Hub. The American official who worked for 18 years in the Foreign Service explained the recent announcement of the American President.

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Brian T. Neubert, Director of the U.S. State Department's Africa Regional Media hub./Ph. DR

Some political analysts believe that Donald Trump’s «new approach» aims at deflecting the Media’s attention and attracting the political class. Do you think this surprising decision is a way for the American President to save face after the collusion with Russia ?

The decision announced yesterday by President Donald Trump has two elements to it that should be emphasized. First of all, in 1995 the Jerusalem Embassy Act had passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. As the President has stated, this was his intention for a very long time and he has been committed to do it. This announcement is not as surprising as it may sound. Second of all, we consider Jerusalem to be the seat of the government. It is a reality. The President believes that this course of action is beneficial for the United States of America, and that is very important. Moreover, it goes hand in hand with the peace process established between Israel and Palestine.

Do you believe that with this procedure, the United States would continue to be an international peacekeeper in the region ?

Donald Trump said that the United States will be there to facilitate negotiations between the two conflicted parties. It has been a priority for him for years and it remains one of the primordial files for the current administration.

Shortly after the President’s announcement, the American Embassy in Morocco posted a message asking American nationals in the Kingdom to be cautious. Do you think this would lead to violent protests ?  

What we know is that there are some people who would not agree with Donald Trump’s intention of relocating the American embassy. It’s just a precautionary measure for the safety of our embassies and citizens. It is a security message, anticipating possible emergencies.

Do you think this decision would affect the diplomatic relations between the United States and Muslim countries, including Morocco ? King Mohamed VI is also the chairman of the Al Quds Committee, which recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine ...

President Donald Trump said yesterday, and we agree with him, that this decision could facilitate the peace process between the two parties. We still think that these issues are related to the final status of Jerusalem, which is meant to be decided by Israel and Palestine. In other words, our President believes that this is the right way to approach the cause.

Don’t you think that such decision could spark tension in the Middle East region ?

On the contrary, President Donald Trump thinks that this decision should have been made years ago. He also said that it is a recognition of reality : in fact, Jerusalem is the seat of the Israeli government. Indeed, the region is facing several challenges in terms of peacekeeping, and the United States continues to engage in resolving these regional conflicts.

Could other countries follow the example of the United States and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ?

I must say that it is hypothetical. We do not know what other countries would plan to do.

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