More than 800 US Figures, Including Kushner, Ivanka, to Attend Embassy Opening in Jerusalem

More than 800 US Figures, Including Kushner, Ivanka, to Attend Embassy Opening in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 24 April, 2018 - 09:00
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump listen to US President Donald Trump speak to the media at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Debbie Hill/Pool
Tel Aviv- Asharq Al Awsat
Political sources in Tel Aviv revealed on Monday that a massive delegation from the United States will arrive in Israel on May 14 to participate in the official celebration of the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem.

The sources said the number of members of the delegation will reach 800, including the daughter of US President Donald Trump, Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump.

The sources confirmed that during a meeting on Monday, the administration of the Israeli foreign ministry prepared a work plan to receive the delegation, which will be headed by Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, and will include 25 members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, a number of state governors, heads of departments in the White House, and the Departments of State, Defense and Finance.

According to sources at the US embassy in Tel Aviv, the embassy will be transferred in the first phase to the consulate building in the Arnona neighborhood, south of West Jerusalem. US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and a small diplomatic team will work from inside the building until the permanent embassy is built in another neighborhood west of the city.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Trump to attend the embassy’s opening ceremony, but the US president apologized for other commitments on the White House agenda.

The decision to relocate the embassy was announced by Trump on Dec. 6, sparking outrage among Palestinians and Arab and Muslim countries, as well as criticism by Western countries and the European Union in particular.

Meanwhile, a US news agency reported on Monday that during a telephone call late last year, Trump asked Netanyahu if he really “cared about peace,” following the Israeli government’s decision to launch large-scale settlement projects.

Axios quoted a senior White House official as saying that “the President has an extremely close and candid relationship with the Prime Minister of Israel” and although the conversation was cordial all the time, Trump asked Netanyahu: “Say frankly: Do you want peace or not?”

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