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President announces Argentina's plans to move embassy to Jerusalem

February 7, 2024 at 12:28 pm

Javier Milei (L), President of Argentina meets with Israeli President Isaac Herzog (R) in Jerusalem on February 06, 2024 [Haim Zach (GPO) – Anadolu Agency]

Argentinian President Javier Milei arrived in Israel yesterday and declared his intention to relocate Buenos Aires’ embassy to Jerusalem, as pledged during his election campaign.

According to the Times of Israel, Milei announced his plan to move the embassy to Jerusalem to Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz upon their meeting at Ben Gurion Airport.

The announcement was applauded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said it was recognition of Jerusalem as “our eternal capital”.

“The prime minister spoke about this with President Milei after his election and welcomes the fact that the president has kept his promise,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office read.

Netanyahu also took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to welcome and celebrate the announcement.

He wrote: “I warmly welcome the arrival to Israel of the President of Argentina, Israel’s friend, Javier Milei, who announced the relocation of Argentina’s embassy to Jerusalem. Welcome, dear friend!”

In response, Hamas said it “strongly condemns” the proposed move, calling it “an infringement of the rights of our Palestinian people to their land.”

“We, in the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), strongly condemn and denounce the announcement by the president of Argentina of his intention to transfer his country’s embassy to the Nazi-Zionist entity to occupied Jerusalem,” Hamas said. “We consider it an infringement on the rights of our Palestinian people to their land, and a violation of the rules of international law, considering Jerusalem an occupied Palestinian land.”

It further went on to call on President Milei to reverse his decision.

Following his arrival, Milei headed to the Buraq Wall (Western Wall) in occupied East Jerusalem and later met his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog informing him about Argentina’s efforts to designate Hamas as a terrorist group.

“We condemned not only Hamas’s terrorist actions but also expressed our solidarity with the State of Israel and continued to support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence. We are working and planning to declare Hamas a terrorist organisation,” Milei told Herzog.

He added: “But now, my presence here confirms everything I have said not only in recent weeks but since October 7. And this is another sign of the historical closeness, support, and friendship between our peoples.”

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 including Honduras, Guatemala and Kosovo.

According to the UN, Jerusalem should have an international status, corpus separatum – Latin for ‘separated body’ – as proposed as part of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

Palestinians, however, seek occupied East Jerusalem – which includes Al-Aqsa Mosque – as the capital of their future state.

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