British Prime Minister Liz Truss is considering moving her country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, writes The Guardian. In doing so, she would break with established British foreign policy and follow in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump.
At a meeting on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Truss told Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid of an “assessment of the current location” of the embassy, according to the British newspaper. The status of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as the capital, is one of the most sensitive issues in the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine.
On Thursday, the Israeli prime minister tweeted his thanks to Truss for what he described as “considering positively” the move. “We will continue to strengthen the partnership between the countries,” he said.
Palestinians see East Jerusalem as their capital. Israel has controlled the entire city since 1967 and declared all of Jerusalem the country’s capital in 1980. According to the United Nations, the annexation of East Jerusalem violated international law.
In Trump’s Footsteps
Like the vast majority of the international community, the UK’s position until now has been that Jerusalem should house consulates rather than embassies until a final peace agreement is reached.
In 2018, then-US President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which the international community condemned and sparked violent protests. More than 200 people were shot dead during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip. The then British Prime Minister Theresa May criticized the move at the time.
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