Honduras opens embassy in Jerusalem, joining small group of countries

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JERUSALEM

Honduras became the fourth state to open an embassy in Jerusalem on Thursday after an inauguration attended by the president of the Central American country, Juan Orlando Hernandez.

“Welcome to our eternal capital, Jerusalem,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who called Hernandez a “true friend of Israel.”

Honduras announced last year that it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after former US president Donald Trump opened the door to relocations by moving the US embassy to the contested city in May 2018. Guatemala and Kosovo were among the first to follow the US.

In a historic move, Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and later relocated the embassy there, sparking anger abroad and among the Palestinian population.

Palestinians see embassy moves and recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as endorsing Israeli control of East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s status is a central issue of contention in the Middle East. In 1967, Israel seized East Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as a potential capital of an independent country.

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