U.S. to allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list Israel as birthplace, Pompeo says
By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Americans born in Jerusalem will now be able to list Israel as their birthplace on their passports, U.S.
By Jeffrey Heller
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Americans born in Jerusalem will now be able to list Israel as their birthplace on their passports, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday, in a nod to Washington's recognition of the contested city as Israel's capital.
It was the latest in a string of pro-Israel policy shifts by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration ahead of his re-election bid next week.
Five years ago, when former President Barack Obama was in the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that would have let Jerusalem-born Americans list Israel on their passports as their country of birth, saying it unlawfully encroached on presidential powers to set foreign policy.
The status of Jerusalem, a city holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians, is among the tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2017, Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Most countries do not.
Pompeo said the decision to allow Jerusalem-born U.S. citizens to choose to enter Israel or Jerusalem as their birthplace was "consistent" with Trump's 2017 proclamation.
The Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as capital of the future state they seek in the West Bank and Gaza, cried foul.
Trump "is trying to write off Palestinian rights," Wasel Abu Youssef of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation told Reuters, accusing the U.S. president of trying to "encourage Evangelists and Jewish Americans to step up voting for him."
On Wednesday, the Trump administration lifted a ban on U.S. taxpayer funding for scientific research conducted by Israel in its West Bank settlements.
Trump envoys have also helped establish ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan - countries that had formally shunned the country in solidarity with the Palestinians.
"Normalisation moves by some Arab countries have led to the weakening of Arab ranks," Abu Wasel added.
(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Aurora Ellis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.