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On eve of Israel embassy move, US says 'hard at work' on peace

AFP  |  Washington 

Top US officials insisted today that they could still push forward the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace process despite outrage across the Arab world over the opening of the new American embassy in

Speaking on the eve of the embassy opening, said he was hopeful of success in efforts to end the decades-old conflict while said it should make peace "easier."

Donald Trump's decision to move the embassy from broke with generations of international consensus that Jerusalem's status should be settled as part of a two-state peace deal between and the

Tens of thousands of are expected to gather along the border between the and on Monday to protest the embassy opening.

The Palestinian Authority's leadership has effectively refused to speak to Trump's team since the move was announced, including his Jared Kushner, who is supposed to be spearheading a new drive for peace.

Husam Zomlot, of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's delegation in described the move as another step toward "a full-fledged apartheid."

"Tragically, the has chosen to side with Israel's exclusivist claims over a city that has for centuries been sacred to all faiths," he said in a statement. "Today's move of the gives life to a religious conflict instead of a dignified peace."

Asked in an interview with Sunday about whether there was any life left in the peace process, Pompeo responded by saying "the peace process is most decidedly not dead." "We're hard at work on it. We hope we can achieve a successful outcome there as well," said Pompeo whose first two weeks in office have been largely consumed with arranging a summit between Trump and North Korean leader

As well as the protests by the Palestinians, demonstrations are expected on Monday in other Arab capitals where governments have argued that the status of should only form part of a final peace agreement.

Pompeo said he was aware that there could be security concerns for US embassies and citizens in the region in the coming days. "The government has taken a number of actions to ensure that not only our governmental interests but the American people in that region are secure as well, and we're comfortable we've taken action that reduces that risk," said the top US

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 02:45 IST