HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel Wednesday.
He was joined by Vice President Mike Pence to make the announcement, calling it long overdue.
The President also announced he's directing the State Department to begin preparations to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The announcements change decades of U.S. foreign policy.
Mr. Trump acknowledged that his decision might ignite tensions in the Middle East, but said he intends to do everything in his power to help forge a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
One University of Southern Mississippi professor is calling the Trump decision "strong," but "reckless."
Edward Sayre, chair and associate professor in the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs at USM, said it could further destabilize parts of the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.
"I believe it's reckless and probably dangerous as well," Sayre said. "If this does not tip Saudi Arabia potentially into some sort of coup, destabilization, then there will likely be knock-on effects for years to come in other ways."
"It is a strong move, but it's such a strong move without necessarily going through and considering all of the potential ramifications."
Sayre believes the move will make it more difficult to broker a peace deal in the region.