George Mitchell, a former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, said Monday that he believes the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem will not be beneficial to peace in the region.
"In the long run, it will not advance the peace process," Mitchell said Monday on CNN's "New Day." ". . . I think the chances of a wider conflict in the Middle East have increased significantly."
Mitchell, a Democrat, was appointed to the position of Special Envoy for Middle East Peace by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009. He held that position until 2011.
A benefit of President Donald Trump's move of the embassy is the popularity of the move around Israel.
"The upside, of course, as you can see, is the celebration in Israel today. It's very popular in Israel, and I think among many in the United States," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the move would make Trump’s policies "more difficult to achieve and implement."
"It greatly inflames an already very turbulent, violent region and increases in conjunction with the reversal of the Iran nuclear agreement, it tremendously increased the instability and the likelihood of wider war in the Middle East."
The opening of the embassy also resulted in criticism across the Middle East.
"It ended the role of the United States as an honest broker," Nabil Shaath, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said last week.
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