Hungary is to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem next month in an act of support by Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, to his counterpart Benjamin Netahyahu, the Times of Israel reported on Friday.
The move, if confirmed, would make Hungary the first member state of the European Union to open an embassy in Jerusalem, which Israel claims as its capital but which is not recognised as this by most countries and whose status under international law is disputed, Reuters reports.
Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mate Paczolay, did not confirm the report, but said the Ministry would provide updates on any changes to the embassy in all cases.
“We have already moved the commercial department of our Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem years ago,” he said in response to a question on the report from Reuters. “The inauguration of the foreign trade representation was jointly announced by Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to comment.
Under former President Donald Trump, the United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2018, but only a handful of other countries have done the same.
The Israeli Parliament passed a law in 1980 declaring the “complete and united” city of Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. The United Nations regards East Jerusalem as occupied, and the city’s status as disputed until resolved by negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.