Britain’s new prime minister has dropped plans drawn up by his immediate predecessor to relocate the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On Thursday, The Guardian reported that Downing Street had confirmed the about-face.
In September, then-Prime Minister Liz Truss began drawing up plans for the relocation of Britain’s embassy in Israel, telling her Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, that the embassy move was under consideration.
Truss left office on October 25th, however, after just 50 days as premier, before any work implementing the embassy relocation plan could take place.
Her successor, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has scuttled the possible embassy move, the prime minister’s office said Thursday.
The possible relocation of the embassy “has been looked at,” a 10 Downing Street official said. “There are no plans to move the British embassy.”
Earlier, British government officials told journalists that there are “no plans to move the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
The Palestinian Authority envoy to London, Husam Zomlot, lauded the decision Thursday.
“We would like thank the UK government, faith leaders, activists and members of the public whose efforts have helped keep the UK in line with international law in this matter. The question about the location of the UK’s embassy should never have been asked for in the first place.”
In August, Sunak had voiced support for the UK’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, telling a gathering of Conservative Friends of Israel that the city is “undisputedly the historic capital” of Israel.”
“Clearly, there’s a very strong case for it to be recognized,” he continued, “so it is something I would like to do.”