12 May '17..
When President Donald Trump heads to the Middle East later this month, the world will be primarily watching closely to see if he makes any of his trademark gaffes that set off a cultural land mine in Saudi Arabia or Israel. But the more important question is whether he will use the trip to actually make policy.
The expectation is that at some point during his visit, Trump will announce the convening of a new Middle East summit. Trump appears to believe in the “outside-in” approach to peace talks, in which Arab states like Saudi Arabia would play a role in trying to encourage and even muscle the Palestinians into negotiating in good faith with Israel at a peace conference. But whether or not that dubious plan is put into action, Trump’s presence in Jerusalem is also being scrutinized for any hint that the U.S. is prepared to acknowledge his stay at the King David Hotel will be time spent in Israel’s capital.
Though Trump repeatedly pledged during the 2016 campaign he would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it hasn’t happened yet. It’s still possible he could do it, perhaps even when he’s there only a day before Israel celebrates Jerusalem Day—which this year marks the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification during the Six-Day War. But few in the know think this is going to happen.
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