White House on Jerusalem move: 'A very courageous and bold action'

The Trump administration has defended the US president's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite widespread international anger at the move

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White House on Jerusalem move: 'A very courageous and bold action'

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President Donald Trump was back to business in the White House on Thursday, despite the shockwaves over his Jerusalem announcement.

Surrounded by veterans, he marked National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

It was down to White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders to answer questions at a news conference in which Jerusalem was just one subject among many.

"This is something that the President took action on, a very courageous and bold action, in something that frankly the members of the United States Congress have voted on many times before," she told reporters at the regular press briefing.

"We are as committed to the peace process as ever and we want to continue to push forward in those conversations, in those discussions, and hopefully the ultimate goal, I think of all those parties, is to reach a peace deal. And that is something that the United States is very much committed to."

Sanders also said she did not know of any other country planning to follow suit and recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump took to Twitter to argue that he was fulfilling a campaign promise, unlike his predecessors in the White House.

NBC White House correspondent Ali Vitali said:

"Many senior officials here are telling us that this is something that the President has wanted to do, never a question of if but when.

"Of course there is a lot of turmoil in the region, a lot of Arab leaders reacting to this as something that could endanger the peace process. But senior White House officials here are telling us that keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv hasn't helped that peace process at all.

"In fact I think that they are looking to disrupt negotiations a little bit by moving this embassy, seeing if it could spur any motion in the process.

"There does seam to be an acknowledgment that this makes things a little bit harder in the short term but, when pressed, senior advisors say this is the right time."

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with Reuters