Israel woos 10 countries on Jerusalem

Israel has started wooing 10 countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem following US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the city as capital of Israel.

The Foreign Ministry is in touch with “at least 10 countries” from different parts of the world that are mulling over moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said: “We are in contact with at least ten countries, some of them in Europe” to discuss the possible move.

Her comment came after Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced the relocation of his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

Earlier, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution rejecting the US decision on the status of Jerusalem.

Hotovely also suggested that Trump’s decision on the status of Jerusalem would “trigger a wave” of similar moves. “So far we have only seen the beginning,” she said.

On Sunday, Morales wrote in a Facebook post that he had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and given instructions to the foreign minister to “initiate the process to make it possible.”

In response, Netanyahu praised the move, saying, “God bless you, my friend.”

On December 21, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution that rejects Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel after 128 member states voted in favour of the move.

However, nine countries voted against the resolution and 35 countries abstained.

The resolution condemns both US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as Washington’s decision to move its embassy to the city.

Guatemala was one of two Central American countries, alongside neighbouring Honduras, to vote against the resolution.

Honduras is likely to be next country to follow the move by Guatemala.

On December 6, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instructed the US State Department to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision has resulted in worldwide condemnation.

On December 21, Netanyahu said that Israel was negotiating with “several countries” the transfer of their embassies to Jerusalem, but did not name the countries. (NAN)

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