- The Washington Times - Friday, December 1, 2017

President Trump plans to give a speech next week naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to an Axios report published Friday.

The report cites a “White House spokesman” who told the news outlet that Mr. Trump always planned to address the matter, but he has been waiting for the right time to make the announcement. The speech is currently slated for Wednesday.

“The President has always said it is a matter of when, not if. The President is still considering options and we have nothing to announce,” the spokesman told Axios.

The issue is a contentious one in the Middle East. Israel already sees Jerusalem as the capital, but no foreign government’s have embassies there. The U.S. would set itself apart from the rest of the world by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital.

The city was captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967 during the Six-Day War. Jordan, the other major U.S. ally in the region, would likely be angered by the move.

Aside from the political implications, Jerusalem is considered a holy site for the three major world religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The city draws millions of tourists annually, including thousands of Muslims, wishing to visit the religious and historic areas.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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