Hungary opens first European diplomatic mission in Jerusalem

Hungary opens new trade office, branch of Hungarian embassy, in Jerusalem, the first European nation to do so.

AFP,

Netanyahu and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto
Netanyahu and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Hungary opened a new trade office in western Jerusalem on Tuesday, fulfilling a February pledge by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Israel to do so in the disputed city.

The opening stops short of moving Hungary's Israel embassy to Jerusalem as US President Donald Trump has done, breaking with decades of international consensus, but was still welcomed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Attending the ribbon-cutting in a city-center office tower along with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, Netanyahu hailed the move.

"It's the first European diplomatic mission to open in Jerusalem in many decades," Netanyahu said.

He called it "important for trade, for diplomacy and for the move that Hungary is leading right now to change the attitude in Europe towards Jerusalem."

The Jerusalem office is to be a branch of the Hungarian embassy in Tel Aviv.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said Tuesday he would consider moving Lithuania's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem should he win May's presidential elections.

Senior politicians in fellow EU states Czech Republic and Romania have said they are also considered moving their embassies to Jerusalem but no decisions have been announced.




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