During an official visit to Budapest, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen stated on Wednesday that the Hungarian government will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in several weeks.
“Hungary supports us in the international arena,” Cohen said during a speech at a Chabad synagogue. “More good news…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, indicating that the embassy move would make Hungary the first European Union member state to do so.
Hungarian Ambassador to Israel Levente Benkö, however, did not confirm the decision, telling the Times of Israel on Thursday: “We have been operating a trade office in Jerusalem since 2019 and there has been no decision on further steps so far.”
While the Hungarian ambassador did not deny the possible embassy move, Budapest was allegedly caught ‘off-guard’ by the announcement and offered no confirmation.
During Cohen’s visit, Hungary also agreed to counter the Palestinian Authority’s terrorist incentive program – its so-called “pay-for-slay” policy – by petitioning the United Nations’ International Court of Justice on the matter.
“Hungary has stood with Israel for years,” Cohen said. “Strengthening the pro-Israel front, together with additional Central European states, is an important diplomatic and economic interest of Israel.”
Should the Hungarian government decide to move its embassy to Jerusalem, it would not be the first country to do so. Paraguay’s newly-elected President Santiago Pena said that when he enters office in August, he also plans to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu praised his decision when he called him to congratulate him on his victory.
The first country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was the United States during the Trump presidency in 2018. Three other nation's embassies have moved to Israel's capital as well: Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.