In a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and British Prime Minister Liz Truss on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, the British premier said she is considering the “current location of the British Embassy in Israel.”
Formerly, as U.K. foreign secretary, Truss had vowed to consider moving the embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.
In a letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel when contending for the Prime Minister’s Office, Truss wrote that she understood the “importance and sensitivity” of the location of the embassy and pledged to make the move if she became the next premier.
If she follows through, Truss will be mirroring the actions of former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017, the first to relocate an embassy previously stationed in the Tel Aviv metropolis, with Honduras and Guatemala following suit thereafter.
Kosovo opened its embassy in Jerusalem in March 2021 and Honduras inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem three months later, in June.
The Dominican Republic, Malawi and Equatorial Guinea all have announced their intentions to open embassies in Jerusalem, while other nations have upgraded their diplomatic presence in the city.
This May, the South American nation of Suriname announced it has plans to open a Jerusalem-based embassy soon, while Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso announced the opening of an Ecuadorian office of innovation in the capital.
Even though Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city, Britain has maintained its embassy in Tel Aviv since the formation of the independent State of Israel, following the dissolution of the British Mandate of Palestine.
Among the topics Lapid and Truss talked about were strategies for strengthening bilateral ties between Israel and Britain; the prime ministers agreed to form teams that will negotiate a free-trade deal as quickly as possible.
During the meeting, Lapid also stressed to Truss that Israel is looking for a “longer and stronger” nuclear deal with Iran, which will address the many threats that are coming from the Islamic Republic.
A press release from the PMO stated Lapid told Truss that Britain must not allow further compromises with Iran.
Lapid also took the opportunity to congratulate the British prime minister in her new role, following the end of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s term earlier this month. Lapid said he was sure that Israeli-British relations will reach new heights in various fields under her leadership – in particular, the economy, innovation and security.
He also took the opportunity to express his condolences at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, following a reign of 70 years.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.