US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has said it is likely to take several years before the United States opens an embassy in Jerusalem.

Mr Tillerson said it will “take some time” to acquire a site for the embassy, develop building and construction plans, obtain authorisations from the Israeli government and actually build the embassy.

He said it will not happen this year, and probably not in 2018.

Mr Tillerson also said President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital “did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem”.

He said the US is making clear that Jerusalem’s borders will be left to Israelis and Palestinians to “negotiate and decide”.

Mr Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital angered Palestinians and sparked protests across the region.