Honduras to open embassy in Jerusalem

Honduras to open embassy in Jerusalem
2 min read
The central American state previously opened a commercial office in Jerusalem, breaking a decades-long policy of neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jerusalem's old city. [Getty]

Honduras will open an embassy in Jerusalem this month, the country's president said on Thursday, in a bid to build closer ties with Israel after decades of operating in Tel Aviv.

The central American nation previously opened a commercial office in Jerusalem, breaking a decades-long policy of neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel is set to open a diplomatic office in Tegucigalpa, Honduras's capital city, in response.

"We are going to formalize what we have already carried out step by step, which is the installation of our embassy in Jerusalem," President Juan Orlando Hernandez said.

He added that the move "will empower us on the agricultural side, in the field of innovation and in the field of tourism".

Honduras has had difficulty obtaining Covid-19 vaccines to control a pandemic that has overwhelmed hospitals, but in February obtained 5,000 Moderna jabs donated by Israel in return for accepting to move its embassy.

The country has the second-largest Palestinian community in Latin America, second only to Chile.

It joins a small but growing number of nations with embassies in Jerusalem, including the United States, Kosovo, and its central American neighbour Guatemala - nations that have also received Covid-19 donations from Tel Aviv.

The status of the city remains one of the biggest flashpoints in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and most countries have their Israel embassies in Tel Aviv.