Joe Biden says he would keep Israel's US embassy in Jerusalem if elected, despite calling Donald Trump's controversial decision to move the office from Tel Aviv "short-sighted and frivolous" before the US engaged a peace process.
The likely Democratic nominee to face the president in November's general election claimed that moving the embassy to the holy city would impede efforts to strengthen peace efforts among Israel's government and Palestinian officials.
While a Delaware Senator, Mr Biden supported the congressional authorisation of the embassy's move in 1995, but the move was delayed as parties sought broader negotiations with leaders in the region.
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Speaking to members of a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday, the former vice president said: "Moving the embassy when we did without the conditions having been met was short-sighted and frivolous. It should have happened in the context of a larger deal to help us achieve important concessions for peace in the process."
Mr Biden said he supports a "two-state solution" though the president's push for the embassy to remain in Jerusalem aligns with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other right-wing and Israel hard-liners who have made Jewish and Christian claims to the region. Jerusalem is a crucial holy site for Christians, Jews and Muslims.
The Biden campaign also announced that the candidate would support the embassy remaining in Jerusalem during a Tuesday conference call.
Mr Biden's foreign policy advisor Antony Blinken said that "revisiting that question does not make a lot of sense, either practically or for that matter politically" and that "the real question going forward is what can be done to try to revive and then ultimately advance the prospects of two states for two people."
The former vice president opposes the annexation of the occupied West Bank.
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