John J. Sullivan
Deputy Secretary of State
May 14, 2018
DEPUTY SECRETARY SULLIVAN: Thank you, Ambassador Friedman, for those kind remarks. On behalf of Secretary Pompeo, thank you for your dedicated efforts to establish this diplomatic mission and to ensure the strongest possible bond between Israel and the United States.We’re also grateful to you and your team for the close coordination and months of detailed planning to prepare for this important day of celebration.
It’s an honor for me to be part of President Trump’s official delegation on this momentous occasion, on a day, as you have already noted, so steeped in history. It’s a privilege to stand before so many distinguished guests, political and religious leaders of Israel and the United States, and to welcome you all to the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. (Applause.)
I also come with a message from Secretary Pompeo, who sends his best wishes. It meant a great deal to him that he was able to visit Israel on his first trip overseas, and he regrets that he’s unable to be here with us today in person. The Secretary asked me to convey on his behalf the great pride that he feels, a pride that I share on this historic day for our two countries.
As President Trump said in December, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is first a recognition of reality – a reality many, many years in the making. Jerusalem is indisputably the capital of Israel, a capital chosen by a sovereign nation as the seat of its government.
But moving the U.S. embassy, on a broader scale, is also a step towards advancing peace in this city, in the broader region, and throughout the world.
The streets of Jerusalem, with its many temples, mosques, and churches, point to its place in history. But in Jerusalem, we can also see a glimmer of the future filled with hope – the hope for greater understanding and peace.
Today, I’m confident that the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem will be, in the words of President Trump, a magnificent tribute to peace. That is what we are celebrating here today as we officially open the newest diplomatic mission of the United States of America.
As we do, we also recognize the deep and historic friendship that brought this mission into being.
On this day, as several have noted, the United States recognized the state of Israel. It is fitting that today, we mark a new milestone and a new day of bright hope and promise for the United States and Israel.
The State Department is proud to continue our close cooperation with the Israeli Government and people from our new embassy here in Jerusalem. We’re grateful to President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the ministry of foreign affairs for their friendship and their hard work to keep our alliance ironclad.
Thank you all for your tremendous support as we sought to make the President’s pledge of the move of our embassy a reality. We’re eager to make our bonds even stronger from this very place.
The United States is committed to Israel, we’re committed to our alliance, and we are committed to building a more peaceful, more prosperous future together. May God bless the U.S.-Israel alliance on this historic day, and I thank you for letting me be a part of it. (Applause.)