The US is set to open its new embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, formally breaking from decades of established American policy and international practice in a move that US officials say will create greater regional stability.
According to a report in the ABC news, The new embassy in Jerusalem, which will inhabit an existing US consular building, will open its doors at 4 p.m. in a 90-minute ceremony led by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Just a few days before the historic opening of the beautiful United States Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. So excited for the ceremony and proud of all the Embassy staff who worked so hard to make this event happen. Eternally grateful to President Trump for his courage and vision. pic.twitter.com/pGVENzJlBt
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) May 11, 2018
The move has been praised by Israel but condemned by Palestinians who were expected to hold mass protests.
US President Donald Trump will address the ceremony by video and he will be represented by his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
At least 800 people were expected to attend the event, including a congressional delegation and a presidential delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.
The American delegation touched down Sunday, and following a reception with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, dined at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house.
We are happy to host the distinguished US delegation in Israel representing President Trump: Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Jason Greenblatt, Amb. David Friedman, Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner. Welcome to Jerusalem – our capital! pic.twitter.com/uUwD6O80Vo
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 13, 2018
Netanyahu heaped praise on Trump, saying: “Thank you, President Trump, for your bold decision… Thank you for making the alliance between Israel and the US stronger than ever.”
“Now, you know how you recognize real leadership? It’s when others follow, and others are following in President Trump’s footsteps,” he said, telling the crowd that Guatemala and Paraguay would both move their embassies later this week.