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

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Brasília, Brazil   /   Wed, January 2, 2019   /   10:08 am
Honduras in talks with US, Israel on moving embassy to Jerusalem US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (center-left) claps as US President's daughter Ivanka Trump unveils an inauguration plaque during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. The United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem after months of global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis over President Donald Trump's decision tossing aside decades of precedent. (Agence France -Presse/Menahem Kahana)

Honduras on Tuesday discussed with Israel and the United States moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a controversial initiative that follows similar gestures by Washington, officials said.

In a meeting with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "it was agreed to strengthen political relations and coordinate cooperation on development in Honduras," read a joint statement by Honduras, Israel and the US. 

"They also agreed to pursue a plan of action, which includes meetings in their three respective capitals, to advance in the process of the decision to open embassies in both Tegucigalpa and Jerusalem."

The meeting took place in Brasilia on the sidelines of the presidential inauguration of new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. 

Last year, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there. Months later, Guatemala followed suit.

Bolsonaro said during his presidential campaign that he would switch Brazil's embassy but without offering details.

The Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, but Israel asserts that all of Jerusalem is its capital and is keen to see foreign embassies move there to bolster that claim.

Most countries, however, back Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to settle Jerusalem's status as part of a wider peace deal.

Brazil's meat producers are worried that an embassy move could threaten $1 billion in exports to Arab countries.