Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 - 10 of Adar, 5778

Czech Republic says it recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, considers to move embassy to Jerusalem

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PRAGUE/MANILLA/JERUSALEM—The Czech Republic said Wednesday that it recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, adding that “considers Jerusalem to be future capital of both states, meaning the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine.”

The announcement came hours after US President Donald Trump declared that his administration was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and that he had instructed the US State Department to prepare to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump made no distinction between East or West Jerusalem in his declaration.

“The Czech Republic currently, before the peace between Israel and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem to be in fact the capital of Israel in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry noted that “the Czech Republic together with other EU member states, following the EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions, considers Jerusalem to be the future capital of both states, meaning the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine. The Ministry can start considering moving of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only based on results of negotiations with key partners in the region and in the world.”

A spokesman for Czech President Milos Zeman fired off six Tweets within 10 minutes lauding the Trump proclamation. Most were retweets of statements from the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but one tweet contained a quote from Zeman from earlier this year in which he said Jerusalem is Israel’s “eternal capital.”

The Czech parliament already recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this year.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte also expressed interest in moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Thursday that Israel is talking with more countries about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“I would like to announce that we are already in contact with other countries which will issue a similar recognition,” Netanyahu said at the Foreign Ministry’s Digital Diplomacy Conference in Jerusalem.

He lauded Trump’s decision explaining that he had earned himself “an eternal role” in Jerusalem’s history and the annals of the Jewish people.

“Yesterday was a momentous day, an important one,” Netanyahu said. “Jerusalem has an extraordinary history and over the millennium, you can cite a few significant milestones, yesterday’s statement by President Trump is such a milestone.”

Netanyahu added he had no doubt that once the US embassy is relocated to Jerusalem and even before, other countries would follow suit.


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