(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (KUNA) -- The US is expected to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv and open it in Jerusalem in May, much sooner than previously indicated, a US official said Friday, according to media reports.
President Donald Trump announced last year that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- a move that changed decades of US policy and inflamed Arab allies.
Palestinians have long claimed Eastern Jerusalem as their capital.
Speaking in the Israeli parliament last month, Vice President Mike Pence said the embassy move would occur by the end of 2019.
The opening is now expected to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding, which was proclaimed by Israel on May 14, 1948. The US recognized the Jewish state the next day.
Trump spoke about the decision during a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington.
"We officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," he said to applause.
"You know, every (US) president campaigned on, 'We're going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.' ... And then they never pulled it off," Trump said. (end) rm.bs