Trump Rebuffs Netanyahu, Says Embassy Won’t Move This Year

Embarrassing rebuff is the first negative public interaction between Netanyahu and Trump since the latter took office

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US President Donald Trump poured cold water on his friend and ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Wednesday by rejecting the notion that America's embassy could move to Jerusalem by the end of 2018.

A day earlier, Netanyahu had gleefully told reporters during his ongoing visit to India that the relocation of the US Embassy to Israel's capital would happen "much faster than people think, within a year from today."

When reporters in Washington asked Trump about Netanyahu's remark, the president didn't sound impressed, stating:

"By the end of the year? We’re talking about different scenarios — I mean obviously that would be on a temporary basis. We’re not really looking at that. That’s no."

In his December 6 declaration officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump announced that the US would move its embassy to the Holy City, but that the process would take time.

PHOTO: Many Palestinian remain violently opposed to America's recognition of Israel's claims to Jerusalem, and many Israelis fear that threat of violence is preventing Trump from following through on his promise. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

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