US to open Jerusalem embassy sooner than expected, says Pence


The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, ahead of schedule, Vice-President Mike Pence has said in an address to the Israeli parliament. Pence defended Donald Trump’s December declaration recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which has been condemned by the Palestinians, their Arab allies, and much of the wider diplomatic community.

He said the US administration will advance its plan in the coming weeks and the embassy will open by the end of 2019. Previous estimates had said that the move would take three or four years. Pence is the highest-level US official to visit the region since Trump promised to move the US embassy to the city, an announcement that prompted Palestinians to reject the US as a peace broker.(theguardian)…[+]