Pompeo: No more waivers

Secretary of State announces that waiver delaying transfer of embassy no longer needed as ambassador's residence officially opened in J'lem.

Nitzan Keidar,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo
Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official statement Wednesday afternoon that the United States would no longer sign the order suspending the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem.

"On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem officially opened for business. Now, as we near the first anniversary of that momentous event, I am pleased to report that I have provided my determination to Congress that the relevant elements of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 have been addressed. Accordingly, no further Presidential waiver of the funding restriction under the Act is necessary."

He added that "The Jerusalem Embassy Act called on the Department of State to open in Jerusalem not just the offices of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Israel, but also a chief of mission residence for our Ambassador to Israel. In March 2019, in consultation with the Government of Israel, we established a chief of mission residence in Jerusalem. I have therefore determined that the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, including the chief of mission residence, is officially open, consistent with the Act."

"Twenty-three years ago, Congress overwhelmingly voted in support of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Successive administrations refused to move the embassy, and instead exercised Presidential waivers to avoid the Act’s restrictions. On December 6, 2017, the President boldly decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the Department of State to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. We proudly continue to implement that decision today," concluded Pompeo.

A senior US embassy official explained to Arutz Sheva why Trump has so far been forced to sign the order every six months: "The administration is proud to have opened the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14. But the required definition includes the transfer of the offices of the diplomatic mission and relocation of the residence of the head of the diplomatic team - the ambassador. "

"The document signed by the president essentially keeps the financing of the law as required until the technical stage in which the ambassador himself lives in Jerusalem is completed," the official added.

As stated, this is a technical procedure, but one that creates an absurdity - on one hand the embassy is already operating in Jerusalem and, on the other hand, the president continues to sign a decision that ostensibly delays the transfer.




top