Israeli Prime Minister: At Least Six States Considering Moving Embassies to Jerusalem

Photo by Chatham House from Flickr

On Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, said that “at least half a dozen” nations were considering relocating their embassies to Jerusalem after the decision of the United States to do so.

Last December, Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, announced that the United States recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, enraging even the Arab allies of Washington and dismaying the Palestinians who want the eastern part of the city to be their capital.

The U.S. Embassy is set to relocate to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv on the 14th of May, the date when Israel declared its independence way back in 1948.

During a reception that was held in Jerusalem to celebrate the 70th anniversary of that declaration, Netanyahu informed foreign diplomats: “In order to promote peace … move your embassies here.”

Netanyahu thanked Guatemala which decided to relocate its embassy soon after the announcement of the United States. However, he did not enumerate the other countries that he said were considering a similar move.

Netanyahu stated: “I am pleased to say that there are at least half a dozen countries that are currently talking seriously to us about moving their embassies to Jerusalem.”

He said that the first ten embassies to move to Jerusalem would be offered “preferential treatment.” However, he did not explain what that might entail.

An official from the United States said that the embassy would be located at a temporary site in Jerusalem that currently houses a consular section of the US. Building a permanent embassy would take several years.

Most countries do not recognise either the sovereignty of Israel or the Palestinians in Jerusalem and have embassies for Israel in the area of Tel Aviv.