Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration needs more time to consider moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem following reports that the White House was walking back President Trump's campaign promise to do so.
"Well, the president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have," Tillerson told "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd during an interview airing Sunday.
Trump met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas earlier this month.
Tillerson admitted Trump is equally considering input from both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas because his priority is administering a peace deal between both parties despite his loyalty to Israel.
"The president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine," Tillerson said. "And so, I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process."
Vice President Mike Pence told attendees at an Israeli Independence Day event in early May that Trump was still looking at moving the embassy.