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Friday, June 18, 1999 Published at 03:56 GMT 04:56 UK

World: Americas

US Congress urges move of embassy

More than sixty members of the American Congress have urged President Clinton not to block plans to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The members of Congress said in a letter to Mr Clinton that the move was long overdue.

The Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Benjamin Gilman, said the US already conducts many official meetings in Jerusalem, in effect recognizing the city as Israel's capital.

An American law from 1995 states that the move of the embassy must start by the end of May 1999, but the law has a waiver allowing the president to postpone it.

Correspondents say Mr Clinton is expected to block the move for national security reasons. Two weeks ago ten senators also urged Mr Clinton not to block the shift of the embassy.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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