EU Fears Hungary May Move Embassy to Jerusalem
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – The European Union has expressed concern about reports that Hungary will become the first EU member state to open an embassy in Jerusalem. However, the European country’s president said “no decision” has been made.
Peter Stano, a spokesman for the EU’s executive European Commission, reiterated that the 27-nation bloc’s policy is not to open embassies in Jerusalem.
“There is a long-standing position which stems from the UN Security Council resolution 478 from 1980, which calls on all member states of the U.N. to withdraw embassies and diplomatic missions to Israel from Jerusalem,” Stano told reporters.
Hungarian President Katalin Novák didn’t deny that her government was considering moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, “I also read news in the press. In Hungary, a decision so far has not been made on moving our embassy in Israel,” Novák said.
Yet, senior Israeli Foreign Ministry officials told the Israeli media that an accord was reached after “intensive” talks between Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his Hungary counterpart Péter Szijjártó.
The differences in statements could not be immediately reconciled.
However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is one of Europe’s most vocal supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who views Jerusalem as the “eternal, undivided capital of Israel.”
EAST JERUSALEM DEBATE
Palestinian leaders also lay claim to Jerusalem and have demanded that the eastern part of the city becomes the capital of their future state.
Due to these tensions, only a few countries moved their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after the United States did so in 2018 under President Donald J. Trump.
Hungary would join the U.S., Honduras, Guatemala, and Kosovo in recognizing undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Last month, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced that Papua New Guinea would also open its first embassy in Israel in Jerusalem this year.
Hungary established a diplomatic representation in Jerusalem in March 2019, when it opened a diplomatic trade mission there. Orbán announced the move during a visit to Israel in February 2019.
Netanyahu, at the time, thanked him for “deciding to extend the Embassy of Hungary in Israel to Jerusalem, that is, to have an extension in Jerusalem that deals with trade.”
The Israeli leader also stressed space was available next to the U.S. embassy for a new Hungarian embassy in Jerusalem.
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