Watch: 'Trump carefully considering moving embassy to Jerusalem'

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addresses President Trump's pending decision to move US Embassy to Jerusalem - or leave it in Tel Aviv.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 5:57 PM

Rex Tillerson and President Trump
Rex Tillerson and President Trump

President Donald Trump is still undecided whether to relocate the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.

Speaking with NBC’s Meet the Press, Tillerson said President Trump was “being very careful” in his approach to the issue, and wanted to take both sides’ considerations into account when rendering a decision.

“The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact the peace process,” said Tillerson.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to implement the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, a law passed with broad bipartisan support during the Clinton administration that calls for the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The law also requires the government to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

But since his inauguration, President Trump has remained mum on whether he will make good on his campaign promise.

According to Tillerson, Trump is weighing the effect of an embassy move on his plans for restarting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with the ultimate aim of reaching a final status agreement.

"The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have."

"As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine."

While Tillerson suggested other regional powers would influence the decision, the Secretary of State added that Israel itself would have to decide whether the embassy move would be beneficial to the negotiating process, or would only serve as “a distraction”, implying that perhaps the Netanyahu government itself had taken a definitive stand on the matter.

"I think it'll be informed by the parties that are involved in those talks, and most certainly Israel's view on whether Israel views it as helpful to a peace initiative, or perhaps, a distraction."

Yet Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went on record last week stating that all countries with diplomatic ties to Israel, the US included, should transfer their embassies to Israel’s capital.

“"Israel's stance is that all the embassies belong in Israel's capital of Jerusalem, and the US Embassy should be one of the first to move."