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countries that recognize Jerusalem as the capital

Australia announced Tuesday, October 18 to reverse its decision, taken in 2018, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has denounced a decision “cynical” of the previous government, which she accuses of having been primarily concerned at the time by a by-election taking place in a constituency with a large Jewish population.

At the time, this measure was mainly part of a larger movement, triggered by the recognition by the United States of Donald Trump of the holy city as the capital of Israel in 2018. Washington had even decided to go further and to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In 2020, US citizens are allowed for the first time to list “Jerusalem, Israel” as their place of birth in their passports.

Guatemala, a small country in Central America, imitates the United States in the process and becomes the second country to have its embassy in Jerusalem. Three years later, in 2021, Honduras joins Guatemala and the United States.

Kosovo Embassy in Jerusalem

Finally, the same year, Kosovo also opened its embassy in Jerusalem, a decision taken following Israel’s recognition of the small Balkan state, the existence of which is disputed by its Serbian neighbor. At present, therefore, only four states have opened an embassy in Jerusalem.

Several countries that had followed suit have since backtracked. Paraguay had decided to emulate its Central American neighbors in May 2018, but a change of government led to a reversal in September.

Some states have also said they are considering moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced it, before retracting. Like Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who claimed in 2017 that the day Turkey would open an embassy in Jerusalem was ” close “.

The Czech Republic considers setting up its embassy in Jerusalem

The Czech Republic, too, says it is ready to do so, going so far as to open a branch of its embassy in the holy city in March 2021. Moldovan President Igor Dodon and Filipino Rodrigo Duterte have also made similar statements. The Philippine Foreign Ministry, however, later said it did not support US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In April 2018, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă announced that her government was preparing to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Klaus Iohannis, who had not been informed, then reiterated his support for the two-state solution, which involves sharing the city between Israel and Palestine, advocated by the UN.

Slovakia also seems tempted to open an embassy in Jerusalem. However, no date has been specified. In Suriname, the Minister of Foreign Affairs followed suit in 2022, a statement however contradicted by the Vice-President in the process.

Britain’s former colonial power plans embassy move

Even more revealing of the scale of the movement initiated by Washington, Liz Truss, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is also considering an embassy transfer, according to a letter written to the conservative Friends of Israel before her accession to power. A project against which the British Cardinal Vincent Nichols had publicly taken a stand.

Ambiguous Russia

Russia has meanwhile said it wants East Jerusalem to become the capital of a future Palestinian state, while claiming to recognize West Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. However, the country continues to maintain its embassy in Tel Aviv. Several other countries recognize the holy city as the capital of Israel without having expressed the wish to move their embassies there. This is the case of South Korea, Taiwan, Nauru and Vanuatu.

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