US Moving Forward With Reopening Consulate in Jerusalem - State Dept. Official
© AP Photo / Ariel SchalitThis Monday, March 4, 2019 photo shows United States consulate building in Jerusalem.
© AP Photo / Ariel Schalit
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is moving forward with the process of reopening its consulate in Jerusalem following the initial announcement in May, a State Department senior official said on Tuesday.
“[T]he United States is moving forward with the process of reopening our consulate in Jerusalem,” the official said during a press briefing.
In September, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the reopening of the US consulate a “bad idea” that could send the wrong message and destabilize the area.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in May that the US plans to reopen its Jerusalem consulate exclusive to the Palestinian territories, which was merged with the US embassy in Israel during the Trump administration. The consulate in East Jerusalem served as the US main diplomatic mission for Palestinians.
The US Consulate has operated in East Jerusalem for decades and was the country's main diplomatic mission de facto for the Palestinians. Under the presidency of Donald Trump, it was merged with the US Embassy in Israel.