(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump celebrated the opening of the first U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, saying that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital, adding that for years, however, the U.S. has failed to recognize the obvious - that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
“Exactly 70 years ago, the United States under President Harry Truman became the first nation to recognize the state of Israel. Today we officially open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. Congratulations! It’s been a long time coming,” Trump said in pre-taped remarks that were broadcast at the U.S. embassy’s opening ceremony.
“Today Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government. It is the home of the Israeli Legislature and the Israeli Supreme Court and Israel’s prime minister and president. Israel is a sovereign nation with a right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Yet, for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality, that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem,” he said.
“On December 6, 2017 at my direction, the United States finally and officially recognized Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel. Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem, and we’re opening it many, many years ahead of schedule,” the president said. “As I said in December, our greatest hope is for peace.”
Trump said the U.S. is “fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement” and that it continues to support the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount.
“This city and its entire nation is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people. The United States will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace,” the president said.
He wished U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman good luck “as he takes up his office in this beautiful Jerusalem embassy, and we extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors.”
“May there be peace,” the president said.