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Honduras, Paraguay 'ready in principle' to relocate Israel embassies to Jerusalem Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Honduras, Paraguay 'ready in principle' to relocate Israel embassies to Jerusalem

Trump's decision in December to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem has drawn condemnation [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 March, 2018

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Two Latin American countries have reportedly expressed interest in relocating their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem, as the US controversially prepares to move its embassy there, Israeli media has reported.

Two Latin American countries have reportedly expressed interest in relocating their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem, as the United States controversially prepares to move its embassy there, Israeli media has reported.

Authorities in Paraguay and Honduras have said they are ready "in principle" to proceed with the move, state-run Army Radio reported, according to local media.

A senior Israeli diplomatic source said that the Latin American countries have demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu make state visits to them before they greenlight the relocation.

The report comes after Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel last week defended her country's "sovereign" decision to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump's decision in December to transfer the US embassy to the disputed city has drawn widespread condemnation, with critics saying it damages hopes for a negotiated Middle East peace.

The White House plans to open its new facility in Jerusalem on May 14, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel's creation.

Guatemala has said its mission will be moved two days after the new US embassy opens.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

The international consensus has long been that the city's status should be settled as part of a two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Only seven small countries - including Guatemala and Honduras - sided with the United States and Israel on a non-binding December 21 UN General Assembly resolution rejecting Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Last week, Arab foreign ministers at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo insisted that Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

In their final statement, the ministers endorsed a peace plan presented by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the UN Security Council in February and his call for an international peace conference by mid-2018 with the key goals of full UN membership for the state of Palestine and a timeframe for a two-state solution.

The plan calls for mutual recognition by the states of Israel and Palestine based on 1967 borders, and formation of "an international multilateral mechanism" to assist the two parties in resolving all final status issues and implementing them within a set time frame.

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