Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš: “We keep our promise.”
The Palestinian leadership and the Arab League are enraged by the opening of the de facto Czech Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority called the opening of the Czech diplomatic mission “a blatant attack on the Palestinian people and their rights.”
The 22-member Arab League, which includes military dictatorships, failed states and Islamist theocracies, passed a resolution on Saturday “condemning” the Czech Republic for setting up their full-fledged diplomatic mission to Israel in Jerusalem.
With the establishment of the de facto embassy in Jerusalem, the Czechs are fulfilling their pledge made during President Donald Trump’s presidency.
“We keep our promise,” Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš declared while inaugurating the office. “The Czech Republic will have a full-fledged diplomatic mission here in Jerusalem. It will deal with a lot — ranging from politics, economic cooperation, consular agenda, and other topics,” he added.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi thanked the visiting Czech leader for “leading the change in Europe toward the city of Jerusalem as a whole and toward the connection with the State of Israel.”
Reuters reported the Arab and Palestinian reaction to the Czech decision:
The Palestinian Authority and the Arab League on Saturday condemned the Czech Republic’s opening of a diplomatic office in Jerusalem as a violation of international law.
Prague opened a Jerusalem branch of its Israel embassy, which is located in Tel Aviv, on Thursday.
The inauguration was attended by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, two weeks after Israel sent 5,000 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Czech Republic under a “vaccine diplomacy” programme that later came under legal scrutiny and was frozen.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called Prague’s move “a blatant attack on the Palestinian people and their rights, a flagrant violation of international law,” and said it would harm peace prospects.
In Cairo, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement: “The legal status of Jerusalem will be affected by the decision of one country or another to open representative offices. East Jerusalem is an occupied land under the International law.
The Jerusalem Post newspaper described the move as a “as a sign of [Czech Republic] recognition that the city is Israel’s capital.” The decision is a acknowledgement of President Trump’s 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a decision opposed by the European Union, and most of the Arab and Muslim-majority countries.
The move is a major diplomatic triumph for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the March 23 general election.
European Union, backed by Chancellor Merkel’s German government, led a campaign to dissuade member states from recognizing the Jerusalem as Israel’s capital following President Trump announcement.
The EU told Prime Minister Netanyahu to “reject” President Trump’s recognition. German Chancellor Merkel’s personally pressured Romanian president to refrain from moving the country’s embassy to Israel’s capital, the Jerusalem Post reported in November 2018.
‘Czech Foreign Ministry Vows To Open Embassy Branch In Jerusalem’ (December 2020)DONATE
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