Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden said Wednesday that he will keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem — even though he disagrees with Donald Trump's controversial 2017 decision to move it out of Tel Aviv.
The former vice president said the embassy should never have been moved without that decision being part of a wider Middle East peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
"But now that it's done, I would not move the embassy back to Tel Aviv," Biden told a virtual fundraising event with supporters in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
"The move shouldn't have happened in the context as it did, it should happen in the context of a larger deal to help us achieve important concessions for peace in the process," Biden added.
Congress authorised the embassy move to Jerusalem in 1995 - with Biden voting for the measure as a Delaware senator - but a succession of presidents from both major parties delayed the shift, setting conditions as part of ongoing peace negotiations.
Biden said Trump gave away that leverage.
Biden also reportedly said he would reopen the US consulate in occupied East Jerusalem "to engage the Palestinians", Al Jazeera reported.
However, Trump was scrutised worldwide when he recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.