El Salvador to move embassy to TA

Central American country was last holdout after Costa Rica announced move.

By AP
August 25, 2006 22:58
1 minute read.
el salvador flag 88

el salvador flag 88. (photo credit: )

 
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The capital will soon be without a foreign embassy, as El Salvador announced on Friday it will move its embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. The decision comes a week after fellow Central American nation Costa Rica - the only other country that had an embassy in Jerusalem - announced it was moving its diplomatic mission to Tel Aviv. In a press statement, El Salvador's Foreign Ministry said the decision was made in consultation with Israel, and added that the country "recognizes and guarantees the right of the state of Israel to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders." It also said that "equally, the government of El Salvador repeats its recognition of the right of a Palestinian state to exist." A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Saturday night that Israel regretted the move, and that "Jerusalem would remain Israel's eternal capital." According to diplomatic officials, the move was the result of Arab pressure on El Salvador, pressure that increased during the recent war in Lebanon, but that the decision was "not against Israel." Israel has not yet been notified by El Salvador about the decision, and it is not clear when the move will take place. On August 16, Costa Rica announced it was moving its embassy, saying the measure was needed to bring the nation in line with international law and to mend relations with Arab nations. At the time, El Salvador said it would keep its embassy in Jerusalem for the time being. Israel criticized Costa Rica's decision, saying it could be interpreted as a "surrender to terror." Costa Rica moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 1982, leading the member nations of the Arab League to break off relations with it. El Salvador established its embassy in Jerusalem in 1984. The decisions by the two countries to move the embassies, according to diplomatic sources in Jerusalem, were aimed at ending their diplomatic isolation in the Arab world. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski called on the government Saturday night to work with the US administration to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.

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