WASHINGTON (May. 18)
President Clinton has delayed by two weeks a decision that would prevent moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Tuesday’s delay in issuing a waiver came as Senate and administration negotiators neared an agreement to elevate American representation in Jerusalem by having the U.S. ambassador to Israel publicly establish a formal residence at a hotel in the city.
The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act calls for the relocation of the U.S. Embassy by the end of this month. The legislation says that 50 percent of the moneys used to acquire and maintain official U.S. buildings abroad may not be spent in fiscal year 1999 if the new embassy does not open in Jerusalem by May 31.
An aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), said he is optimistic that with a new government in Israel, the controversial issue of the U.S. Embassy could be resolved soon.
There could be a “meaningful gesture on Jerusalem which will satisfy the letter and spirit of the Jerusalem Embassy Act without impacting negatively on the peace negotiations,” said David Luchins, the aide to Moynihan, who is the Senate’s point man on the issue.