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Palestinians, Turkey slam opening of Czech embassy in Jerusalem

Prague opened the diplomatic office in Jerusalem earlier this week [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 March, 2021

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The Czech Republic and Kosovo are the latest countries to open diplomatic missions in contested Jerusalem.
Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League this week condemned the Czech Republic's opening of a diplomatic office in Jerusalem

Prague opened a branch in Jerusalem of its Israel embassy, which is located in Tel Aviv, on Thursday. 

A number of states have opened embassies and diplomatic missions in the holy city since the United States moved its embassy there under the Trump administration. 

Hungary is the only other European Union member state to have opened a mission in Jerusalem, however.

Such moves are seen as a recognition of Israeli sovereignity over Jerusalem, which is also claimed by the Palestinians. East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in contravention of international law.

Kosovo also opened an embassy in Jerusalem this week after formally establishing diplomatic ties with Israel last month.

Prague's opening of a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem is "a blatant attack on the Palestinian people and their rights" and "a flagrant violation of international law", the Palestinian foreign ministry said on Saturday.

Turkey joined the Palestinian Authority in voicing "concern" over the move on Sunday.
Read more: Israel 'rewards' allies with surplus Covid-19 vaccines


"The move would serve the attempts to erode the status of Jerusalem, one of the main parameters of the Palestine-Israel conflict," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ankara had previously warned Kosovo against opening an embassy in Jerusalem, stating the move could harm Turkey's friendly diplomatic and economic relations with the young Balkan nation.

The Arab League has also condemned the opening of the Czech mission.

"East Jerusalem is an occupied land under the International law," said Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Prague has said the mission's opening will have "no impact" on the Czech Republic's relations with the Palestinian Authority.

The country is one of Israel's strongest supporters in the EU, however.

It is one of the countries that has opposed the International Criminal Court's decision to launch a war crimes probe in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

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