By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 21 September, 2020
Honduras will relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of 2020, President Juan Orlando Hernandez announced, joining the US and Guatemala in Israel’s capital.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and spoke to Hernandez on Sunday and “reaffirmed that Honduras and Israel are close friends and strategic allies who form part of an alliance of reciprocal support and both economic and political cooperation.”
Hernández congratulated Netanyahu on the historic Abraham Accords peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and offered his best wishes for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Netanyahu “expressed his appreciation for the authentic friendship and steadfast support Israel has received from Honduras and reiterated his country’s commitment to strengthen this partnership through development, cooperation, tourism, investment, technology, agriculture, education and trade,” his office stated.
On January 1, 2019, the US, Israel and Honduras issued a joint statement following the trilateral meeting held in Brasilia, Brazil, between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Netanyahu, and Hernández.
The countries “agreed to strengthen political relations and coordinate cooperation on development in Honduras” and further “agreed to pursue a plan of action, which includes meetings in their three respective capitals, to advance the process of the decision to open embassies in both Tegucigalpa and Jerusalem”.
Hernandez, the first graduate of Israel’s MASHAV leadership program elected to lead the country, has for many years been an active friend of Israel. Under his leadership, Honduras became one of the two countries in Latin America, and one of the five in the world, to most often abstain from resolutions opposed by Israel.
In December 2017, Honduras was one of the few countries that joined Israel in voting against the UN resolution that opposed the US moving its Embassy to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu’s office stated Monday that “in accordance with the plan of action and public commitments to initiate the first steps,” Honduras, on March 2019 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and on September 1, 2019, opened its commercial office in the capital, and Israel reciprocally in August 2020 opened its trade and cooperation office in Tegucigalpa.
“Today, with their flags flying over each other’s capital cities, Israel and Honduras wish to announce the intention to complete the plan of action, before the end of this year, with the reciprocal opening and inauguration of their embassies in the national capitals, Tegucigalpa and Jerusalem,” the statement said.
Earlier this month, Serbia announced it will relocate its embassy to Jerusalem and following Israel’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Muslim-majority Kosovo, Kosovo has announced it will open its embassy in Jerusalem.
The Czech Republic has a cultural and trade center in Jerusalem, and Brazil and Honduras have trade offices in the capital.
Guatemala opened an embassy in the city in May 2018 a day after the US became the first country in the world to do so.