STATEMENT BY ROBERT PALLADINO, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON
March 3, 2019
Merger of U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem
On March 4, 2019, U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem will merge into U.S. Embassy Jerusalem to form a single diplomatic mission. This step follows Secretary Pompeo’s October 18, 2018 announcement that the two missions and teams would be combined.
There will be complete continuity of U.S. diplomatic activity and consular services during and after the merger. We will continue to conduct all of the diplomatic and consular functions previously performed by U.S. Embassy Jerusalem. We will also engage in a wide range of reporting, outreach, and programming in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem, through a U.S. Embassy Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU), which will operate from our historic Agron Road location in Jerusalem. Our State Department and interagency teams on the ground do exceptional work every day in representing the United States to diverse audiences, reflecting their views back to Washington, and assisting American citizens. That critical work will be enhanced and will continue uninterrupted as we form a larger team.
This decision was driven by our global efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our diplomatic engagements and operations. It does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip. As the President has stated, the United States continues to take no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders. The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties. The Administration remains fully committed to efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future to Israel and the Palestinians.