Sierra Leone is prepared to open an embassy in Jerusalem and recognizes that the city is Israel’s capital, the country’s President Julius Maada Bio told Foreign Minister Eli Cohen when the two spoke on Friday.
“As part of efforts to strengthen the relationship between the two nations, His Excellency @PresidentBio expressed his government’s readiness to establish an Embassy of Sierra Leone in #Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel,” Bio’s office said in a statement it placed on X, formerly known as Twitter.
To date, only four countries have embassies in Jerusalem, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and Kosovo, although a number of other nations have promised to follow suit. Paraguay made such a promise earlier this month. Papua New Guinea is expected to open a Jerusalem embassy in September.
Battling for recognition of Jerusalem
Most of the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as the country’s capital and holds that east Jerusalem – the portions of the city located over the pre-1967 lines – should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The Israeli government has battled and continues to battle for diplomatic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s united and eternal capital.
“We continue to put Jerusalem, our eternal capital, at the top of the State of Israel’s political agenda,” Cohen said.
“I was happy to hear from the president of Sierra Leone that he intends to establish an embassy in Jerusalem,” Cohen explained. He recalled that he has made it his mission to double the number of embassies in Jerusalem, explaining that he believes he is well on his way to achieving that goal.
Israel and Sierra Leone established diplomatic ties in 1961, but the West African country has yet to open an embassy in Israel.