Nikki Haley in diplomatic hot water over comments about US Embassy location in Israel

Nikki Haley

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made remarks regarding the status of moving the nation’s embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and about the West Wall, just days before President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit.

UNITED NATIONS (Diya TV) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday the nation’s embassy in Israel should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, upholding a campaign promise of President Donald Trump, and that the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem is part of Israeli territory.

Haley’s remarks were delivered amid an ongoing diplomatic spat between the U.S. and Israel over whether the Western Wall is part of Israel or the West Bank, in addition to speculation over whether Trump will fulfill a campaign promise to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem, even as the president has since distanced himself from the move.

President Trump will visit Israel and the West Bank on May 22 and 23, making his first stop in Saudi Arabia. He will also visit Brussels and the Vatican after leaving the Mideast.

In excerpts from an interview with CBN News released on Tuesday, Haley said: “Obviously I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem. So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is.”

Regarding the Western Wall, Haley said: “I don’t know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we’ve always seen it and that’s how we should pursue it… We’ve always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel.”

Earlier Tuesday, Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer affirmed that the Western Wall is indeed “clearly in Jerusalem,” hours after another official, national security adviser H.R. McMaster declined to answer a direct question as to whether the US government considers the Western Wall to be within Israeli territory. McMaster said that question “sounds like a policy decision.”

“The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in Jewish faith. It’s clearly in Jerusalem,” Spicer told reporters Tuesday.

“But there’s been — it’s an issues that’s had serious consideration. It will be a topic that’s going to be discussed during the President’s trip between the parties that he meets with,” he added.

Previous administrations have declined to identify Jerusalem as being in Israel, out of concern for the diplomatic repercussions. Trump’s visit to the Wall, formally confirmed by McMaster on Tuesday, will be the first ever by a serving US president.

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