Pence: The U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem is Happening Next Year

Posted: Jan 22, 2018 11:00 AM

While the government shutdown continues in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence is making news overseas. 

During a speech to the Israeli Knesset Monday, Pence reiterated the Trump administration's decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially recognizing the city as the capitol.

"In the weeks ahead our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year," Pence said.

Arab members of the Knesset protested Pence's speech and waived signs saying Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to meet with Pence during his visit and has stepped away from the peace deal negotiating table. 

The embassy move was expected to take as long as four years, but according to Pence the timeline has been moved up. 

President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capitol in December, arguing it's a simple recognition of reality. 

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said. "This is a long overdue step to advance the peace, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.  This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality.  It is also the right thing to do.  It's something that has to be done."

"Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital," he continued.