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Abbas wants Russia's help in preventing relocation of US embassy in Israel

January 13, 16:34 UTC+3

Donald Trump said during his election campaign that if he was elected president, he would take steps to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

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US Embassy in Tel Aviv

US Embassy in Tel Aviv

© AP Photo/Eitan Hess-Ashkenazi

MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has forwarded a letter to Russian leader Vladimir Putin asking Moscow to influence Washington so that the US embassy in Israel is not moved to Jerusalem, Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told reporters on Friday.

"We have received information on the latest statement of [US President-elect] Donald Trump in which he said that his administration planned to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem," Erekat said.

"In the letter, which I have handed over [to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov] today, we ask Russia to take steps so that the United States do mot move its embassy to Jerusalem." 

Jerusalem’s status is one of the key issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel took the eastern part of the city during the 1967 war, the Israeli insist that Jerusalem is their eternal and indivisible capital while the Palestinians want to make it the capital of their state.

Donald Trump said during his election campaign that if he was elected president, he would take steps to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump is scheduled to take the oath of office on January 20.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act initiating the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem was passed by the US Congress in 1995. However, then-President Bill Clinton postponed the implementation of the Act as it could have heightened tensions in the Middle East. George W. Bush pledged to move the US embassy to Jerusalem during his election campaign in 2000 but failed to honor his pledge. The outgoing president Barack Obama has been postponing the implementation of the Act every six months.

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