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Democratic Republic of Congo to open representation office in Jerusalem: Israel

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 27: Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi makes a statement during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron prior to a working lunch at the Elysee Presidential Palace on April 27, 2021 in Paris, France. In a statement released by Elysee, “France and the Democratic Republic of the Congo strongly condemn the repression of demonstrations in Chad and call for an end to all forms of violence. They recall their support for an inclusive transition process, open to all Chadian political forces, led by a civilian government of national unity and due to lead the country to elections within 18 months. They express their support for the accompanying efforts undertaken by the African Union and reiterate their attachment to the stability and integrity of Chad". (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi makes a statement during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron prior to a working lunch at the Elysee Presidential Palace on April 27, 2021 in Paris, France [Chesnot/Getty Images]

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) intends to open a diplomatic and commercial representation in the occupied city of Jerusalem, the Israeli government said on Thursday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The announcement came after a meeting in the city between Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, and Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Central African nation.

"The President of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, informed the Israeli Prime Minister of the opening of a diplomatic and commercial representation for his country soon in Jerusalem," the statement said.

It added that "the Congolese president supports Israel's accession to the African Union as an observer, and he is working on that." Tshisekedi is also chairperson of the African Union.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has yet to issue a statement on the two leaders' meeting.

READ: US says Israel's consent is needed to re-open East Jerusalem consulate

The African country was one of the countries that participated in the 2018 opening of the US Embassy when it moved from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, Tshisekedi made an unannounced visit to Tel Aviv, the first visit from a Congolese leader since 1985, according to Israeli public broadcaster, KAN News.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Mideast conflict, with Palestinians insisting that East Jerusalem— illegally occupied by Israel since 1967—should serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

In an effort to make the occupation seem legitimate, Israel has been trying to convince countries to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

So far, the US, Guatemala, Honduras, and Kosovo have moved their embassies to Jerusalem, while the Czech Republic and Brazil have opened offices and representations in the city.

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AfricaDemocratic Republic of the CongoIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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