Thursday, 14 December 2017

ForMin: Czechs may debate embassy's transfer to Jerusalem

ČTK |
7 December 2017

Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) - The Czech Republic may consider transferring its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only after discussing the issue with its key partners, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday in reaction to the USA's plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Prague considers Jerusalem the future capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine, the ministry writes in a position released on its web.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in Washington on Wednesday that he had assigned the Department of State to prepare a plan for transferring the U.S. embassy.

He said he time has come for the USA to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We can consider the transfer of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only based on the results of our negotiations with crucial partners in our region and in the world," the Czech Foreign Ministry wrote.

In September, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said coordination with Israel was also necessary and that the Czech Republic was not planning its embassy's transfer for the time being.

The Czech Republic considers Jerusalem the future capital of Israel and the state of Palestine, as do the other EU members based on the conclusions approved by the EU Council for Foreign Affairs, the ministry wrote.

Until peace is concluded between Israel and Palestine, Prague will continue recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel within the borders of the demarcation line from 1967, it added.

Czech President Milos Zeman called on democratic countries to transfer their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem in September. Four years ago, he proposed that Prague should open its embassy in Jerusalem.

Reacting to Trump, Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) deputies' group head Jan Bartosek supported the idea of the Czech embassy being transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Tel Aviv hosts the embassies of a crushing majority of countries due to a still uncleared status of Jerusalem.

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