EU against relocation of embassies to Jerusalem

Report: EU officials tried to approve clause preventing member states from opening diplomatic missions in Israeli capital.

Elad Benari,

European Union
European Union
iStock

The European Union (EU) tried to prevent the continued trend of member states opening representative offices in Jerusalem but the initiative failed, Kan 11 News reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the EU did not like the decision of some European countries to open economic offices in Jerusalem and senior officials tried to lead to the drafting of an official document that would obligate all EU member states and determine, "Until a final agreement on Jerusalem is reached, the EU and its member states will continue to respect the international agreement on the location of the diplomatic missions."

Israel understood that such a decision would eliminate the chances of continuing to pressure European countries to relocate their embassies or open a diplomatic representation in the capital.

However, consent of all the EU member states was needed in order to publish the document, and the Czech Republic and Hungary, member states which are considered close friends of Israel, were required to agree to the document and thwarted it.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has in recent years strengthened ties with the two countries, which are not among the largest in the EU but are vocal opponents to anti-Israel moves.

Hungary opened a new trade office in western Jerusalem this past March, fulfilling a pledge by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to do so.

Last November, the Czech Republic opened the Czech House in Jerusalem, which will include representatives of the Czech government as the first stage before the embassy is transferred to the capital.

The Czech Republic recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December of 2017, following US President Donald Trump's recognition of the city as Israel's capital.

EU sources responded to the report and told Arutz Sheva:

"The EU and its Member States have a clear and united position on Jerusalem, set out in Council conclusions and statements, is well known and remains unchanged.

"It was reiterated in European Council Conclusions in December 2017, and most recently in the 22 January EU Statement on behalf of the 28, delivered to the UN Security Council.

"The European Union and its Member States will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem, including on the location of their diplomatic representations, until the final status is resolved through direct negotiations between the parties."




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