Netanyahu: Moving US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem Will 'Advance' Peace

Trump is widely expected to use the trip to give fresh impetus to Middle East peace talks.

Besides his one-day stay in Israel, President Trump will also visit Saudi Arabia for his first overseas visit since his inauguration in January.

Trump sparked global criticism at the time when he appeared to back away from support for a two-state solution, saying he would leave it up to the parties themselves to decide. The kingdom has yet to release a full list of participants, but invitees include leaders of the Gulf states, other key Arab countries as well as leading Islamic states including Turkey, Indonesia, and Pakistan.

His comments drew a quick response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump would be breaking with strong tradition if he does not attend the shrine and lay a wreath for Holocaust victims but neither the White House, the State Department or the Israeli Embassy in London were unable to confirm with IBTimes UK that he will be paying his respects.

Israel demanded an explanation from the White House Monday after a USA official reportedly questioned the country's claim to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City.

USA presidents of both parties have repeatedly waived a US law requiring the embassy be moved to Jerusalem. Trump slammed President Barack Obama for not vetoing the measure, calling it "extremely unfair".

More news: Senator McCain Calls for Expulsion of Turkish Ambassador

Israelis hope that Trump will honor his campaign promise either to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's united capital or announce a move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

"The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process", Tillerson said, going on to suggest that Israel itself might be less than fully committed to a move.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said in an interview that Trump is concerned about how moving the U.S. embassy would affect the Mideast peace process, VOA News.

Since Mr Trump took office in January, the Israeli far-right has called on the prime minister to profit from the incoming Republican administration's pro-Israel bent by pressing issues on which previous USA presidents would not be budged, such as the location of the U.S. embassy. "It will advance the process because of the correction of the historic injustice and the smashing of the Palestinian fantasy of Jerusalem not being the capital of Israel", it said.

It later annexed East Jerusalem, and in 1980, Israel unilaterally declared "reunited" Jerusalem as its capital.

There have been some signs that the Israeli government, while publicly supporting moving the embassy, has quietly raised concerns that doing so could enflame the political and security situation.

An official in Netanyahu's office said the USA comment was "received with astonishment" and that Israel had asked the White House for an explanation.

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