US Republican presidential candidate John McCain told CNN on Friday that if he wins the upcoming election in November, one of his first acts will be to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
McCain's remarks were seen as a shot at his opponent Democratic candidate Barack Obama's own waffling on the future status of Jerusalem, and a confirmation of McCain's personal view that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of the Jewish state.
However, McCain has also said that he will not impose his personal view on negotiations, and that future control of Jerusalem will be a subject of final status peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The US Congress in 1995 overwhelmingly passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and obligating the administration to relocate the US Embassy there by 1999.
But President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton repeatedly made use of a six-month temporary escape clause to avoid making a move that they insisted would predetermine the outcome of Israeli-Arab peace talks and harm US interests in other parts of the Middle East.