05:28 GMT14 May 2021
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    Israel is disappointed that US President Donald Trump has decided to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv rather than moving it to Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Trump renewed a waiver that will temporarily keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv instead of moving it to Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital city.

    "Israel's consistent position is that the American embassy…should be in Jerusalem, our eternal capital," Netanyahu's office said in a statement. "Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today's expression of President Trump's friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future.

    The White House said in a statement that Trump's decision should not be regarded as a retreat from the president's "strong support for Israel."

    According to the statement, the decision has been made to maximize the chances of reaching an agreement between Israel and Palestine.

    While US-Israeli ties had deteriorated during Barack Obama's presidency, they have been given a new impetus under Trump's leadership with the US president calling the Iranian nuclear agreement brokered by Obama administration among others a "bad deal for Israel" and promising to transfer the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as part of his campaign pledge.

    Recently, Trump visited Israel and met Netanyahu with the Israeli prime minister visiting Washington very soon after US president's inauguration.


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