US President Donald Trump will declare formal recognition of occupied al-Quds as the so-called capital of the ‘Israeli' entity on Wednesday, the White House said, breaking with years of precedent and potentially leading to unpredictable consequences for the Middle East.
The region is braced for the prospect of unrest in anticipation of the declaration, due at 1pm in Washington, and US embassies around the world have been advised by the state department to bolster their security.
US government employees have been told to avoid occupied al-Quds' Old City and the West Bank until further notice.
In his remarks to be delivered in a diplomatic reception room in the White House, Trump will base his decision on ancient history and current political realities that the Zionist legislature and many government offices are in occupied al-Quds. He will also order the state department to start the process of planning and building a new US embassy in al-Quds, but White House officials said that process would take at least three years.
Until the new embassy is completed and opened, the official US mission will remain in Tel Aviv and the president will continue to sign a six-month waiver of congressional legislation that demands the embassy is moved, but only to spare the state department from budget penalties embedded in the 1995 act.
Officials made clear that Trump would not follow the practice of his predecessors, who used the waiver to prevent any action on the embassy move to avoid derailing any progress towards a so-called ‘Israeli'-Palestinian settlement.
In making his decision, following through on an election campaign promise, Trump shrugged off appeals from leaders from France, the EU, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other key allies. They urged him not to prejudge an issue that would be at the heart of any comprehensive deal, which is something his administration has made a foreign policy priority, entrusted to the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
On the eve of his announcement, Trump made a series of calls to leaders in the region, including Jordan's King Abdullah, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the Zionist Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team