Honduran lawmakers passed a measure calling on the government to move the nation’s embassy in Israel from its present location in Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem.
While the resolution is legally non-binding, it is the latest sign the Central American nation may be on the verge of joining the United States and Guatemala in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating its embassy.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon hailed the vote in a tweet Friday, adding that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez later on Friday.
“Israel congratulates the National Congress of #Honduras for passing with an overwhelming majority a resolution in favor of opening an Embassy in #Jerusalem. A conversation between @IsraeliPM@netanyahu and the President of #Honduras is due to take place soon.”
Honduras was one of just nine countries in the 193-member United Nations General Assembly – including the US and Israel – that voted against a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s December 6th declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
"That was not an easy decision for any country to have to vote on, but the people of Honduras stood with us in being able to make that decision for ourselves and decide where we want our embassy and to know that is our right," Haley said in a February news conference with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, according to AFP.
Neighboring Guatemala also announced its plans to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, prompting two other Latin American countries, Panama and Honduras, to weigh similar moves. Other reports suggested that Paraguay, not Panama, was considering moving its embassy. Both Panama and Paraguay abstained from the UN General Assembly vote condemning the US for Trump’s December 6th Jerusalem declaration.
Guatemala is expected to unveil its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 16th, two days after the US opens its new embassy, Jerusalem municipal officials said earlier this week.
Despite warming ties between Israel and Honduras, on Monday, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez backed out of a planned appearance at Israel’s Independence Day ceremony.
Hernandez had been slated to take part in the annual torch-lighting ceremony on the evening of April 18th – the Hebrew calendar anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948.
The Honduran president cancelled his appearance following calls by a left-wing lawmaker for the invitation to be rescinded.