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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez during a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil January 1, 2019..(Photo by: PRESIDENCY HONDURAS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Netanyahu: Honduras on path to opening J'lem embassy with trade office
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
09/01/2019
Last week, Honduras’s Council of Ministers recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, becoming one of a small number of countries to do so.
Honduras is on its way to opening an embassy in Jerusalem with its inauguration Sunday of a diplomatic trade office in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview by his Likud Party that was posted Saturday night on his twitter page.
 
“This is good news,” Netanyahu said.
 
US envoy Jason Greenblatt also welcomed Sunday’s opening the Honduran Trade Office, which will be an extension of Honduras' embassy in the Tel Aviv area.

“Under Potus [president of the United States’] leadership, we were proud to move our embassy to Jerusalem,” Greenblatt tweeted on Friday. “We welcome Honduras’ decision to open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem. As President Juan Orlando Hernandez said: For me it’s the recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

Last week, Honduras’s Council of Ministers recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, becoming one of a small number of countries to do so.

Hernandez, who landed in Israel late Saturday, will inaugurate the trade office together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Foreign Ministry said Friday that the opening was “an important step toward the future move of the Honduran Embassy to Jerusalem, and the opening of the Israeli Embassy in the Honduran capital.

“Moreover, this step reflects the close relations between our two countries, and the warm friendship between our two peoples,” it added.

During his two-day visit, Hernandez will visit Israeli shipyards and participate in a high-level economic meeting with leading Israeli business people, the Foreign Ministry said.

“This meeting will take place with the goal of advancing investment and commercial ties between our two countries,” it said.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned Honduras’s actions.

“The right of Palestinians to Jerusalem as the capital of their independent state is a sacred right,” Shtayyeh said in a press statement published by Palestinian news agency WAFA. “It is unacceptable [that Jerusalem] be used for gaining or selling political positions in favor of the United States or Israel.

“The government has put in place a set of steps to confront Honduras’s decision in international forums, including filing a complaint against it with the UN secretary-general, and submitting a draft resolution against in the UN General Assembly, as the decision violates the UN Security Council resolutions condemning and preventing recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Shtayyeh said.

Separately, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali landed in Israel on Saturday for a four-day visit. The Foreign Ministry said Israel welcomed his visit, which is another testament to Netanyahu’s successful development and strengthening of ties with African countries.

Ethiopia and Israel maintain close friendships and have many collaborations in a variety of fields, including agriculture, water and irrigation, health, education, science, technology and innovation. During the visit, the parties will discuss strengthening the security, agricultural and technological cooperation, with a special emphasis on cyber-tech cooperation.
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