Honduras to Open Trade Office in Jerusalem as Possible Prelude to Embassy Move

Honduras in talks with US, Israel on moving embassy to Jerusalem
AFP

TEL AVIV — Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his wife will travel to Israel this coming weekend to open a trade office in Jerusalem in what the foreign ministry is billing as a prelude to Honduras relocating its embassy to Jerusalem. 

“I’m happy to announce that on Sunday Honduras is opening a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, a step on the way to an embassy,” Sara Netanyahu said in a Facebook video.

“When I visited Guatemala I spoke with [First Lady] Patricia Morales and her husband the president, I asked them to operate vis-a-vis Honduras so it’ll move its embassy to Jerusalem,” she stated, referring to her visit to the central American republic in May.

The trade office is a first move toward “the future relocation of the Honduras embassy to Jerusalem,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry has launched a relocation incentives program to encourage other countries to transfer their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

So far, only Guatemala has followed the U.S.’s lead in moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

“I asked the [Guatemalan] president to help us move the Honduras embassy to Jerusalem. Right there and then, he called his friend the President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández and said to him that he is sitting with me at lunch and I proposed that he move the embassy to Jerusalem,” Sara Netanyahu said. “And thus began the dialogue between the countries that will reach its peak this coming Sunday with the opening of a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.”

Earlier this year, Hernández told AIPAC that his country was set to open its embassy in Jerusalem “immediately.”

Honduras will immediately open our official diplomatic mission and this will extend our embassy to the capital of Israel, Jerusalem,” Hernández said.

At the same event, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă also announced her country’s intention to transfer its embassy.

“I, as prime minister of Romania, and the government I lead, will move our embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel,” Dăncilă said.

“Moving the American embassy is emblematic and it proves the powerful connection of values and interests between the American people and the Israeli people,” she said.

“Our support of the State of Israel and the Jewish community is constant,” she added.

The announcement sparked backlash from Palestinian officials, but in May, Dăncilă said she “remained committed” to following through on her word.

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