US embassies warn Americans to exercise caution in wake of Trump speech


US embassies in the Middle East and Europe issued warnings to Americans traveling or living there of the potential for violent protests after US President Donald Trump’s Wednesday decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Within minutes of Trump’s announcement, the embassies in Turkey, Jordan, Germany and Britain issued security alerts urging Americans to exercise vigilance and caution. Other embassies are expected to follow suit.

The US Embassy in Ankara said it expects protests to take place near its location as well as the consulates in Istanbul and Adana.

The US Embassy in Amman, Jordan, said it would close to the public on Thursday and has banned employees from leaving the capital. The children of embassy employees have been told to stay home from school and all Americans there are advised to keep a low profile.

US embassies in Berlin, London and Minsk, Belarus issued identical warnings.

To Israel’s delight and despite urgent appeals from Arab and European leaders and the risk of anti-American protests and violence, Trump declared it was time for a new approach to Mideast peace after decades of failure in his Wednesday address.

“We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past,” the president said.

He also said the US would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, though he set no timetable.

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Establishing a Jerusalem embassy was a major campaign promise of Trump’s and one that officials said he had focused on in discussions with top advisers in recent weeks.

Trump later signed a waiver which means there will be no embassy move for at least another six months. But he also stressed that he directed the State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy as required by US law, however many years that might take. After his speech, he signed a proclamation to that effect.

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