So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities.
And finally, I ask the leaders of the region — political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim — to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.
Here is the full text of US President Donald Trump's Wednesday speech on Jerusalem, in which he recognised the disputed city as Israel's capital:
When I came into office, I promised to look at the world's challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.
My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognise that that city — and so importantly — is Israel's capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.
Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law's waiver, refusing to move the US embassy to Jerusalem or to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital city.
Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace.
Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time.
Nevertheless, the record is in.
After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.
Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.
I've judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.
Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.
It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognised the State of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem — the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.
Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.
For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state, and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.
Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world.
Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.
Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.