Pompeo: No More Waivers on Jerusalem Act

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Yerushalayim, March 21. (Reuters/Jim Young/Pool)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official statement Wednesday that the United States would no longer sign the order suspending the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem.

“On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem officially opened for business,” the statement of Pompeo began. “Now, as we near the first anniversary of that momentous event, I am pleased to report that I have provided my determination to Congress that the relevant elements of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 have been addressed. Accordingly, no further Presidential waiver of the funding restriction under the Act is necessary.

“The Jerusalem Embassy Act called on the Department of State to open in Jerusalem not just the offices of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Israel, but also a chief of mission residence for our Ambassador to Israel. In March 2019, in consultation with the Government of Israel, we established a chief of mission residence in Jerusalem. I have therefore determined that the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, including the chief of mission residence, is officially open, consistent with the Act.

“Twenty-three years ago, Congress overwhelmingly voted in support of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Successive administrations refused to move the embassy, and instead exercised Presidential waivers to avoid the Act’s restrictions. On December 6, 2017, the President boldly decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the Department of State to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. We proudly continue to implement that decision today,” he concluded.

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