US moving forward with plans to reopen Jerusalem consulate

US moving forward with plans to reopen Jerusalem consulate for Palestinians: spokesman
2 min read
23 June, 2021
Addressing reporters at a White House press briefing, Secretary of State spokesman Ned Price said the US did not have a timetable for reopening the de facto diplomatic mission for Palestinians but said it was something that 'we are working on'.
The US State Department said that the reopening of the consulate is being worked on [AFP via Getty]

The US is moving ahead with plans to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem, following an announcement late last month, a White House spokesman confirmed to reporters on Tuesday.

"When it comes to the consulate general in Jerusalem… we are moving forward the with process of reopening," said Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department.

Addressing reporters at a White House press briefing, Price said Washington did not have a timetable for reopening the de facto diplomatic mission for Palestinians, but it was something "we are working on".

He added that it was a talking point between the State Department and Israeli and Palestinian officials during Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's recent visit, in which the latter revealed the plans.

The announcement marked a clear departure from US policy towards Palestinians under former President Donald Trump, who shuttered the consulate in 2019 and merged the mission into the Israeli embassy in Jerusalem.

Trump's move infuriated Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

On announcing the change, Blinken said it would be "an important way for our country to engage with and provide support to the Palestinians".

It came as Blinken pledged millions in aid to help Gaza, which was left devastated by an 11-day Israeli bombing campaign that killed more than 250 Palestinians, including at least 66 children.

At the same time, the Biden administration has vowed iron-clad support for what it calls Israel's security. The US president has not heeded calls to suspend arms sales to Israel, despite widespread and renewed allegations of war crimes against it.