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US Embassy in Jerusalem to Be Ready by End of Next Year

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York.
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

A day after media speculation over seemingly divergent statements on the timing of the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem, U.S. media reported it would take place by the end of 2019.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in India the move would take place "much faster than people think, within a year from today."

Hours later, Trump seemingly rebuffed the possibility in an interview with Reuters.

"By the end of the year?" Trump said when asked about it. "We're talking about different scenarios—I mean obviously that would be on a temporary basis. We're not really looking at that. That's no."

The divergent statements sparked Israeli media criticism of Netanyahu, but he wasn't buying it, insisting that Israel and the U.S. were tracking together on the timing of the move. There were reports that the US was considering "interim measures" for now.

By week's end, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both reported the move will take place by the end of the following year.

According to the reports, the Trump administration will begin converting the U.S. consular building in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood to the new embassy, to be ready about two years after President Trump's official recognition Dec. 6, 2017, of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The announcement created a huge backlash, and a U.N. Security Council resolution rejecting the decision.

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