Tillerson: Jerusalem embassy move not this year or next
Posted December 8, 2017 8:23 a.m. EST
Updated December 8, 2017 9:10 a.m. EST
(CNN) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "is not something that is going to happen this year, probably not next year."
Speaking in Paris with his French counterpart, Tillerson said that President Donald Trump had ordered the State Department to "start the process of making the move" but that it would take time. They still needed to acquire a site, make construction and building plans, ensure necessary authorizations and then build the embassy itself, Tillerson said.
He also said that Trump's decision does not "indicate any final status for Jerusalem," adding that the "final status would be left to the parties to negotiate and decide."
Trump announced the embassy move Wednesday amid a heated foreign policy debate over the relocation, calling it a "recognition of reality" and "the right thing to do."
His decision upended seven decades of US foreign policy that has resisted a recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital before the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved. It's also expected to inflame tensions in the region and unsettle the prospects for peace.
Violent protests and international condemnation have already followed Trump's move. Extra police units were mobilized in Jerusalem and the Old City ahead of Friday prayers, an Israeli police spokesman said, as the city braced for further demonstrations.