Jan 30, 2018
The alliance between Israel and the United States has never been stronger, said Vice President Mike Pence in a speech before the Israeli Knesset.
In December, President Donald Trump made history when he kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Vice President Pence announced that the U.S. will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem before the end of 2019.
President Donald Trump made this decision, "in the best interests of the United States." But he also made it clear that it is in the best interests of peace. “By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital,” said Vice President Pence, “the United States has chosen fact over fiction. And fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace.”
The United States remains fully committed to achieve a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In announcing his decision on Jerusalem, the President called, "on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including at the Temple Mount, also known as the Haram al-Sharif."And he made it clear that the United States is not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders.
President Trump reaffirmed that, if both sides agree, the United States will support a two-state solution.
The United States appreciates Israel's declared willingness to resume direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. “We strongly urge the Palestinian leadership to return to the table,” said Vice President Pence.
While a peace agreement will require compromise, Vice President Pence stressed that any such agreement must guarantee Israel's ability to defend itself by itself.
Israel has long enjoyed peace with both Egypt and Jordan. President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan prove every day that trust and confidence can be a reality among the great nations who call the Middle East home, said Vice President Pence.
The United States believes that the age-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can be solved if both sides will sit down and negotiate in good faith.