Honduras to consider returning Israeli embassy to Tel Aviv after 'backstabbing' Jerusalem move

Honduras to consider returning Israeli embassy to Tel Aviv after 'backstabbing' Jerusalem move
2 min read
Honduran President Iris Xiomara Castro has decided to reverse a decision by the former administration to move the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Iris Xiomara Castro wants to reverse the Jerusalem embassy move [Getty]

Honduras is considering moving its embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv, a year after moving it to Jerusalem, according to the Honduran foreign ministry.

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, a conservative who considered himself a close Washington ally, moved Honduras's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2021.

The United States had moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, reversing decades of US policy.

Hernandez was extradited to the United States earlier this year on charges of drug trafficking.

His successor, leftist Iris Xiomara Castro, took office in January.

"The issue of moving the embassy to Tel Aviv has already been discussed with President (Castro) and is a topic of interest to her, as well as maintaining a balanced relationship with the other Arab countries and Israel," Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Reina said in a statement.

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Reina discussed the issue in a meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Sunday in Bogota, where they were visiting for the inauguration ceremony of Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

The decision to return the embassy to Tel Aviv could be made "with the aim of returning respect for the norms of international law demanded by the United Nations," Reina said in the statement.

The United States, Honduras, Guatemala, Czech Republic and Kosovo are the only countries with embassies in Jerusalem; other countries have them in Tel Aviv.

Trump's decision was seen by many as a betrayal of the Palestinian people and the peace process. 

Trump was the first US president to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, enacting a 1995 congressional decision that called for the relocation.

All previous presidents had made use of a waiver option, delaying the decision.

Such moves are seen as a recognition of Israeli sovereignity over Jerusalem, which is also claimed by the Palestinians. East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in contravention of international law.

Palestinian officials have repeatedlt condemned decisions to move embassies to Jerusalem as a stab in the back and have called for the reversal of the moves.

(Reuters)