THE JERUSALEM skyline as viewed from the Mount of Olives..
(photo credit: DAN/FLICKR)
WASHINGTON – The leaders of Romania and Honduras separately told the AIPAC conference on Sunday that their countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, but it is not clear whether either of the moves will actually materialize.
Talks with both Romania and Honduras about moving their embassies have been underway since the US moved its embassy to the capital last May.
“I, as prime minister of Romania, and the government I lead, will move our embassy to Jerusalem,” Romanian Prime Minister Viorica was in said.
“Our support of the State of Israel and the Jewish community is constant. I am determined to contribute to closer relations between Israel and the entire European Union, particularly now, when Romania is holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union.”
She promised that Romania would “remain the same loyal friend and the strongest European voice in support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” and finished her speech with the words, shalom haveirim (“peace friends”), see you in Jerusalem.”
Dancila was in Jerusalem in January and spoke of moving the embassy then as well.
In April, the Romanian government approved a memorandum agreeing to move the embassy, but Romanian President Klaus Iohannis objected, saying that such a move could only take place after a peace agreement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.
A Romanian decision to move the embassy would place it at strong odds with EU policy.
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández said he spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on New Year’s Day and “our three countries issued a joint statement announcing an action plan that will culminate with Israel opening its embassy in our capital Tegucigalpa and at the same time, reciprocally, the Honduras Embassy will be moved to the capital of Israel, the city of Jerusalem.”
“Here, at AIPAC today, I want to announce the first very important step. Honduras will immediately open an official diplomatic mission in Jerusalem and this will extend our embassy to the capital of Israel – Jerusalem,” he said.
Diplomatic officials said that Honduras’ immediate intention was to open a trade office in Jerusalem that will have a “diplomatic status,” similar to what Hungary did earlier this month.
So far, only Guatemala has followed the US lead and fully moved its embassy to Jerusalem.
Hernández’s meeting with Pompeo took place in Brasilia on the sidelines of the inauguration of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s new president.
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