Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, President Barack Obama suspended for another six months a law passed by Congress in 1995 that required the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a White House statement Tuesday
Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, Congress empowered the president to waive the law on
grounds of national security.
Obama formerly instructed Secretary of State John Kerry not to move the embassy. The president must issue the order on six-month intervals or the law goes into effect.
As a candidate in 2008, Obama referred to Jerusalem as Israel's capital saying, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."
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He subsequently clarified his position saying, "Well, obviously, it's going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations."
During the 2012 presidential campaign Mitt Romney promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem. "Every nation has the right to choose its capital," he declared.
Prior to his election candidate George W. Bush had also promised that he would move the embassy.
While the Israeli government is seated in Jerusalem, since Israel's establishment in 1948, Washington has never recognized the Jewish state's sovereignty over any part of the city.
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