The Czech Republic announced it will begin the process of relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem.
Czech President Milos Zeman made the announcement on Wednesday in a meeting with Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. He stated “A few years ago, I said that our embassy should be transferred to Jerusalem. The time has come.”
He announced that the process would include “three phases” for the final embassy move, the first the opening of a consulate in Jerusalem.
The Czech Foreign Ministry reported that while it “fully respects the joint policy of the European Union, which views Jerusalem as the future capital of the State of Israel and the future state of Palestine,” it would first open an “honorary consulate in May” followed by a “new Czech Centre by the end of this year, both in West Jerusalem.” It did not give an official timeline.
Hotovely praised the Czech Republic, calling for “historical justice”. She thanked President Zeman, stating “You were one of the first leaders in the world to speak about the importance of the embassy’s transfer four years ago. In light of the special relations between our two countries, we look forward to celebrating the opening of the Czech embassy in Jerusalem soon.”
Romania announced over the weekend that it would also relocate its embassy to Jerusalem. Both Romania and the Czech Republic follow the United States, Guatemala and Honduras. Guatemala and the United States are set to relocate it’s embassy to Jerusalem next month.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Their meeting was centered on “bilateral issues, strengthening cooperation and the holding of joint projects in security, health, technology and cyber defense.”
The Office of the Prime Minister reported “Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed appreciation for the Romanian government’s approval of a draft decision on initiating the transfer of the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem and welcomed the statements of the president of the parliament in support of the move.”
This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, April 25, 2018, and reposted with permission.