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Hungary denies Israel’s claims it’s relocating embassy to Jerusalem

June 2, 2023 at 1:26 pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen [Sudan Sovereignty Council/Anadolu Agency]

Hungary’s ambassador to Israel yesterday denied Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen’s claim that Budapest will relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“We have been operating a trade office in Jerusalem since 2019, but no decision has so far been made on any further steps,” Levente Benko told the Times of Israel.

During a visit at a Chabad synagogue in Budapest on Wednesday, Cohen announced that Hungary will be the first EU member state to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“Hungary supports us in the international arena. More good news is that in a number of weeks, Hungary will be the first EU state to announce that it is moving its embassy to Jerusalem.”

“This is great news for Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years,” he added.

It comes after Hungarian President Katalin Novak denied in March that her country had decided to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, despite Israeli reports that Hungary would move its embassy to Jerusalem the following month.

Under former President Donald Trump, the United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2018, but only a handful of countries have followed.

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.

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