The alliance between Israel and the United States hasnever been stronger, said Vice President Mike Pencein a speech before the Israeli Knesset.
In December, President Donald Trump made historywhen he kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem asthe capital of Israel. Vice President Pence announcedthat the U.S. will advance its plan to open the U.S.Embassy in Jerusalem before the end of 2019.
President Donald Trump made this decision, in the best interests of the United States. But healso made it clear that it is in the best interests of peace. By finally recognizing Jerusalem asIsrael's capital, said Vice President Pence, the United States has chosen fact over fiction. Andfact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace.
The United States remains fully committed to achieve a lasting peace between Israelis andPalestinians. In announcing his decision on Jerusalem, the President called on all parties tomaintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including at the Temple Mount, also known asthe Haram al-Sharif. And he made it clear that the United States is not taking a position on anyfinal status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem orthe resolution of contested borders.
President Trump reaffirmed that, if both sides agree, the United States will support a two-statesolution.
The United States appreciates Israel's declared willingness to resume direct peacenegotiations with the Palestinian Authority. We strongly urge the Palestinian leadership toreturn to the table, said Vice President Pence.
While a peace agreement will require compromise, Vice President Pence stressed that any suchagreement must guarantee Israel's ability to defend itself by itself.
Israel has long enjoyed peace with both Egypt and Jordan. President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi ofEgypt and King Abdullah of Jordan prove every day that trust and confidence can be a realityamong the great nations who call the Middle East home, said Vice President Pence.
The United States believes that the age-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can besolved if both sides will sit down and negotiate in good faith.