US embassy to move to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, Pence says

JERUSALEM, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. embassy in Israel will move to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday.

"In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem – and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year," Pence said in a speech to the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem is Israel’s capital – and, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to begin initial preparations to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," said Pence, explaining the decision. He did not give an exact date.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Stephen Farrell)

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Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Middle East
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Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Middle East
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) shakes hands with with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt January 20, 2018. REUTERS/ Khaled Desouki/Pool
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt January 20, 2018. REUTERS/ Khaled Desouki/Pool
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt January 20, 2018. REUTERS/ Khaled Desouki/Pool
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (not pictured) at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt January 20, 2018. REUTERS/ Khaled Desouki/Pool
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (not pictured) meets with with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt January 20, 2018. REUTERS/ Khaled Desouki/Pool
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt January 20, 2018. REUTERS/ Khaled Desouki/Pool
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at Amman military airport, Jordan, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at Amman military airport, Jordan, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at Amman military airport, Jordan, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves to the media after his arrival at Amman military airport, Jordan, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves to the media after his arrival at Amman military airport, Jordan, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at Amman military airport, Jordan, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at Amman military airport, Jordan, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
An employee of the King David Hotel raises the U.S. flag on the roof, ahead of the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visit in Jerusalem January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Jordan's King Abdullah, his wife Queen Rania (R), meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and wife Karen Pence, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, listens during his meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah (not pictured) at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Jordan's King Abdullah and wife Queen Rania, meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Jordan's King Abdullah speaks during his meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Jordan's King Abdullah and wife Queen Rania, meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence (R) seen during their meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah and his wife Queen Rania, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Jordan's King Abdullah and wife Queen Rania are seen during their meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence (not pictured) at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
An employee of the King David Hotel raises the U.S. flag on the roof, ahead of the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visit in Jerusalem January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Jordan's King Abdullah and wife Queen Rania, meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence are seen during their meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah and his wife Queen Rania, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen wave upon their arrival at Ben Gurion international Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves upon his arrival at Ben Gurion international Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen arrive at Ben Gurion international Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with Israeli officials upon his arrival at Ben Gurion international Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with Israeli officials upon his arrival at Ben Gurion international Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
US Vice President Mike Pence talks with Israeli officials welcoming him and shaking hands with his wife Karen Pence upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on January 21, 2018 on the second day of his delayed Middle East tour after visiting Egypt and Jordan. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence seen during a visit to the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool
Ushers eject members of the Joint Arab List who held signs in protest ahead of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence?s address to the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool
Ushers scuffle with members of the Joint Arab List who are holding signs in protest ahead of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence?s address to the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his address to the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauds U.S. Vice President Mike Pence ahead of his address to the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool
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