President Donald Trump has made what could be considered as his biggest diplomatic retreat since he took office early this year after a message from the White House announced the suspension of the much acclaimed vow to move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
A statement released by the White House however said the decision was geared towards promoting peace in the region and to “maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and Palestinians.”
The news has been applauded by the Arab World and sympathizers of Palestine as being a result of the pressure on the Trump Administration to backtrack on his electoral promise. Nevertheless, the statement pointed out that “no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the president’s strong support for Israel.”
The White House left the door open for a possible U-turn when it deems it necessary as it stated “the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman, termed the decision as “a reflection of the U.S. administration’s keenness to make peace and build bridges of trust with partners.” He also renewed Abbas’s commitment to reaching “a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue” with the support of Trump. Reports earlier this week alleged that Trump lambasted Abbas during their meeting in Bethlehem because Abbas disappointed him regarding his involvement in anti-Israel incitement.
Amid the applause of the decision by Palestinians, analysts have warned that the statement only signals that there is a delay in the implementation of the transfer and not a nullification of the project.