Republican US presidential candidate Donald
Trump has pledged to recognise Jerusalem as
Israel’s “undivided” capital if he is elected.
Trump met privately with Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu at his residence in Trump
Tower on Sunday, a day before the New York
billionaire faces off against Democratic rival Hillary
Clinton in their first presidential debate. Clinton
was also expected to meet with Netanyahu in New
York on the eve of the debate.
“Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the
eternal capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000
years, and that the US, under a Trump
administration, will finally accept the long-standing
congressional mandate to recognise Jerusalem as
the undivided capital of the state of Israel,” his
campaign said in a statement.
Israel captured the Arab eastern half of Jerusalem
during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed it in
1980, declaring all of Jerusalem Israel’s unified
The US, and most other UN member countries, do
not recognise the annexation and consider
Jerusalem’s final status to be a key issue to be
resolved in peace negotiations with the
The US Congress passed a law in October 1995
calling for an undivided Jerusalem to be
recognised as Israel’s capital and to authorise
funding for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv
But no US president, Democrat or Republican, has
implemented the law, regarding it as an
infringement on the executive branch’s authority
over foreign policy.
No mention by Netanyahu
Netanyahu’s office issued a statement about the
one hour-long meeting but made no mention of
Trump’s pledge on Jerusalem.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed with Mr
Trump issues relating to Israel’s security and its
efforts to achieve stability and peace in the Middle
East,” it said.
The Trump statement said he promised Netanyahu
that Washington would provide Israel with
“extraordinary strategic, technological and military
cooperation” if he is elected.
Netanyahu’s meetings with Trump and Clinton
come after the US recently completed a 10-year, $
38bn military aid package for Israel.
Clinton said in a statement it would help “solidify
and chart a course for the US-Israeli defence
relationship in the 21st century as we face a range
of common challenges”.