Israel ally Czech Republic moves diplomat to Jerusalem office

Israel ally Czech Republic moves diplomat to Jerusalem office
2 min read
03 December, 2020
The Czech Republic is one of the strongest allies of Israel in the EU.
Jerusalem is considered by Israel to be its 'undivided capital' [Getty]

The Czech Republic will move a diplomat to its office in Jerusalem, but insists the diplomatic mission in the disputed city will not serve as a new embassy for Israel.

The foreign ministry said it was setting up an office manned by a diplomat Jerusalem, along with an honorary consulate, according to Reuters.

It comes after the controversial US embassy move to Jerusalem, which Israel views at its undivided capital while its eastern part is claimed by Palestinians.

Almost all embassies in Israel are based in the coastal city of Tel Aviv. The international community views Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank as illegal.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed the Czech move and said on Twitter it "emphasises our strong friendship and strategic partnership".

Read also: Slovenia declares Hezbollah a terrorist group 'in its entirety'

Prague insists that the diplomatic deployment is not related to President Donald Trump's push for more countries to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but President Milos Zeman has previously voiced support for an embassy move in the past.

It said the Jerusalem-based diplomat would serve in a consular role, assisting Czech tourists and expatriates in the city.

Reuters reported that around 160,000 Israelis visited the Czech Republic in 2019, while the number of Czech tourists to Israel is also rapidly increasing.

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