JERUSALEM -- President Donald Trump says the U.S. remains "fully committed" to pursuing a Mideast peace deal as it opens its controversial new embassy in Jerusalem.
In a videotaped message to the opening ceremony Monday, President Trump said the new embassy has "been a long time coming." Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was one of President Trump's key campaign promise that was welcomed by Israel.
But the move has infuriated the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as their capital and have said that the move disqualifies the U.S. as a Mideast peace mediator.
President Trump said his "greatest hope" is for peace. He said the United States "remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement."
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri calls the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem a "provocative" act that closes the doors for any attempts to reach peace between the Israel and Palestinians.
Hariri in a series of tweets Monday said he regrets "this decision that is igniting the anger of millions of Arabs, Muslims and Christians." He said Lebanon denounces the "provocative" decision that is deepening the conflict and allowing the "Israelis to spill more blood of innocent Palestinians and increases the intensity of extremism that threatens the world community."
The embassy move comes on day marking Israel's creation 70 years ago, a day Arabs call the "nakba" or catastrophe, in reference to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled or were expelled from what is now Israel. Lebanon was one of the Arab countries to receive many of the Palestinian refugees. Today, there are more than 170,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon.