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Trump to address Jerusalem embassy opening by video: official

AFP  |  Washington 

Donald will address around 800 US and Israeli dignitaries at the ceremonial opening of the American embassy in by video on Monday, said.

It was not immediately clear from David Friedman's comment, on a call with reporters, whether would speak via a live videolink or a pre-recorded address.

"Big week next week when the American Embassy in will be moved to Congratulations to all!" tweeted on Friday.

The said staff at the had just marked its last day as an embassy and some of them would turn up for work on Monday at the embassy, which would host an opening ceremony later that day.

"People will be coming back to work as the embassy branch of the Jerusalem embassy, and I think we're all very happy and excited to be participating in such a historic event," Friedman said.

"People have been working literally around the clock in getting ready for our opening dedication ceremony on Monday. We'll be ready."

Friedman said around 800 people were expected for the ceremony, he added, explaining that in addition to the previously announced US presidential delegation, a "healthy number" of American lawmakers were also set to attend.

"The president, from my side of things, will be addressing the audience by video," he said.

Lindsey Graham's office said he would be among a delegation of senators, also including Ted Cruz, who would attend the opening ceremony and meet with Israeli officials about "counter-terrorism and national security issues."

But he stressed the event will be a bilateral US-Israeli celebration, downplaying reports that very few if any diplomats from other countries that have not recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital would attend.

US will lead the delegation that will include Trump's daughter Ivanka, her husband and senior Jared Kushner, and

The US decision to move the embassy and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital raised concern in many capitals, and outrage in some, that is pre-judging the result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump has been criticized for handing his a political victory without insisting on any Israeli concessions that might mollify Palestinians and help revive the moribund peace process.

But Friedman insisted that the embassy decision had been taken purely in the US national interest.

"The Israelis are obviously desirous of this, and they've requested this, and they're very happy by it," he said.

"But the decision was made because it was viewed to be in the best interests of the and something the had promised during the campaign, and something the felt was in its best interests.

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

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 10:15 IST