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Armenia sounds caution on Israel claims of embassy opening

Armenia has not confirmed the embassy move [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 September, 2019

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Most countries in the world refuse to recognise Israel's claims to Jerusalem as its capital.

Armenia will open an embassy in Tel Aviv in the "near future", Israel has said, making it the 90th foreign embassy in the country, but Yerevan has poured cold water on the claims.

The Israeli foreign ministry tweeted on Thursday, something that was not immediately confirmed by their Armenian counterparts. 

"The State of Israel warmly welcomes the decision of the Government of the Republic of #Armenia to open an Embassy in Israel," the Israeli foreign ministry tweeted on Thursday. 

"This decision reflects the significant progress in the relations between both our countries that has taken place in the last year."

The foreign ministry said the move marks an "important new chapter in our relations", strengthening "the friendship between the two nations and enhance our cooperation in all fields".

It added that Armenia would open the mission at the "earliest possible time", either at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.

Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz welcomed the decision.

"The Armenian government's decision to open an embassy in Israel marks an important development in our bilateral relations. The new embassy will be the 90th foreign embassy in Israel. There is no doubt that this is indicative of Israel's rising status in the world," he said.

"We will continue to work to expand Israel's foreign relations, and to strengthen Israel's standing in the international community."

Although Israel have had some diplomatic relations with Armenia since its independence from the Soviet Union, Yerevan has resisted formal ties due to Israel's support for regional rival Azerbaijan.

The diplomatic distance between the two countries is also reflected in Israel's refusal to recognise the Armenian genocide.

Armenian sources told Israel's Kan broadcaster that a decision has still not been made on the matter.

"The embassy, if and when it opens, will be in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem," the sources said.

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