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Donald Trump to skip opening of US embassy in Israel

United States President Donald Trump will not travel with a high-level delegation to attend the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, the White House announced on Monday.

The delegation would be led by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. It will also include President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who also serve as senior advisers to the US President, The Hill reported.

The delegation will also consist of President Trump’s Middle East ambassador Jason Greenblatt, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US ambassador to Israel David Friedman respectively.

Reportedly, Kushner has been given the task of restoring peace talks between Israel and Palestine, which came to a standstill following President Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December last year.

The decision stalled the US-led peace process, causing outrage in the Arab world with Palestinian leaders rejecting Washington DC’s involvement in brokering a resolution to the age-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The State of Palestine seeks all of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza territories for an independent state.

Jerusalem is considered a sacred place, which is home to Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites. However, it is also a disputed territory, contested by both Israel and Palestine, which sees it as a capital of its future state.

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