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U.S. Issues Travel Warning As Trump Decision On Jerusalem Nears - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

U.S. Issues Travel Warning As Trump Decision On Jerusalem Nears

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WASHINGTON (NBC NEWS) — President Donald Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel Wednesday, while also signing a waiver that delays moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, two U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs issued an advisory to Americans abroad telling them to avoid crowds.

Though Trump will not move the embassy this week, officials said he still intends to do so in the future to follow through on a promise made early in his administration. White House advisers have long said moving the embassy is not a question of if, but when, for the administration.

World leaders have expressed grave concerns about the pending announcement, an action that Palestinian and Arab leaders have warned could inflame the Arab world, spark violence and further derail an already tenuous peace process.

Ahead of the announcement, Trump held a series of phone calls on Tuesday with leaders in the Middle East.

The president spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the White House said. On Monday, the president spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron about the "path to peace in the Middle East," according to the White House.

After Trump's call with Abbas, Palestinian Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeineh said Trump "briefed President Abbas on his intention to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to" Jerusalem, though no official decision was conveyed.

Abbas warned Trump about "the dangerous implications for such a decision on the peace process, the security and stability in the region and the world" and called the possible move "an unacceptable step," Rdeineh said.

Jordan's official news agencies also reported that Trump updated King Abdullah on his intention to move the embassy.

"His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday received a phone call from U.S. President Donald Trump, who indicated his desire to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," a Jordanian statement said.

In the phone call, King Abdullah warned of pre-empting a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the statement added. "His Majesty emphasized that Jerusalem is key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world."

The King affirmed that the decision will have serious implications that will undermine efforts to resume the peace process and will provoke Muslims and Christians alike.

Turkish President Erdogan, meanwhile, called "Jerusalem...the red line for Muslims."

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi condemned the possible embassy announcement, saying that it would be seen a hostile move against Arabs and Muslims.

Some experts believe announcing a planned move of the embassy to West Jerusalem without recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital could soften the blow to Arab leaders. Trump could reveal his plans as early as Wednesday.

Trump has been outspoken about both his support for Israel and his desire to broker a lasting Middle East peace. The president has tapped his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to lead the peace effort.

At a press conference with Netanyahu at the White House in February, Trump said he would "love to see" the U.S. Embassy moved to Jerusalem and that "we're looking at it very, very strongly."

"We're looking at it with great care, great care, believe me. And we'll see what happens, OK?"

In recent days, top advisers to the president have been vague on what Trump plans to announce or when. Kushner said Sunday at the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., that the announcement will be done "at the right time" but that the president "is still looking into a lot of facts."

Trump's National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, said Sunday on Fox News that he was "not sure" of Trump's decision, but "we've given him options," including those "involving the move of an embassy at some point in the future, which I think could be used to gain momentum toward a peace agreement and a solution that works both for Israelis and Palestinians."

Since the 1979 Camp David Accords, U.S. presidents have refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or move the U.S. embassy. The U.S. approach has been that Jerusalem's status should be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians. 

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