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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Trump likely to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital next week

He was expected to delay the move

Donald Trump is expected to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Donald Trump is expected to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to deliver a speech on Wednesday recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, a move that could upend decades of American policy and further inflame tensions in the Middle East.

Two administration officials said on Thursday that even as Trump was considering a controversial declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he was expected to again delay his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and the international community does not recognise Israel's claim on the entire city.

The US has no embassy building in Jerusalem that it could move diplomatic operations into, meaning any move would take plenty of lead time in order to build an embassy.