US President-elect Joe Biden will continue to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and maintain the embassy in the city, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told EFE on Tuesday.
Blinken, whose stepfather was a Holocaust survivor, appeared before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, when he was heard appointed as US Secretary of State.
In response to a question from Republican Senator Ted Cruz about whether he believed Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and whether the United States would maintain its embassy in the city, Blinken said, “Yes and yes.”
In April 2020 Biden, who has been campaigning for the Democratic nomination as a presidential candidate, said he intended to keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem if he wins the November elections. On that occasion, Biden also said that he would open a consulate in East Jerusalem, which is inhabited by an Arab majority, in order to make progress on a “two-state” solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
US President-elect Donald Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv – the headquarters of most diplomatic missions – to Jerusalem in 2018, the city whose sovereignty is subject to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, EFE notes. At the same time, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as well as the sovereignty of the Israeli state over the Golan Heights, decisions that have drawn criticism from the international community.
As a Senator, Joe Biden in 1995 supported the law providing for the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision was postponed for more than two decades by the successive administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, until 2018, when Trump decided to act.