While Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis noted that his country’s official embassy remains headquartered in Tel Aviv, the development serves as an indication of the Eastern European country’s tacit acceptance of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Czech Republic has opened a diplomatic representation in Jerusalem. It is a branch of the country’s Israel embassy.
The opening took place this week during a ceremony attended by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
“We, the Czech Republic, are opening here in Jerusalem on Washington Street our diplomatic representation,” said Babis.
While Babis noted that his country’s official embassy remains headquartered in Tel Aviv, the development serves as an indication of the Eastern European country’s tacit acceptance of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“We will have a full-fledged diplomatic mission here in Jerusalem,” he said. “It will deal with a lot, ranging from politics and economic cooperation to the consular agenda and other topics. It will have its permanent staff and work under the lead of our embassy in Tel Aviv.”
Babis added that “it represents another milestone in our cooperation and gives evidence that we see the importance of this great city.”
In 2018, Czech President Milos Zeman announced a three-step plan to relocate the country’s embassy to Jerusalem. Zeman, who has limited powers as president, faced opposition from Babis, who cited European Union policy against opening embassies in Jerusalem.
Ashkenazi said the opening of the Czech diplomatic branch in Jerusalem ‘’shows additional proof of the depth and the scope of the friendship we share with the Czech people, and the Czech Republic and government.”
He also said he appreciates the Czech government for “leading the change in Europe towards the city of Jerusalem as a whole and towards the connection with the State of Israel.”
Another Eastern European country, Kosovo, is set to open its embassy in Jerusalem and thus will become the third country after the United States and Guatemala to make the move.