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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Czech Republic Plans to Open Branch of Tel Aviv Embassy in Jerusalem, Minister Says

The Czech Republic plans to open a branch of its Tel Aviv embassy in Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said on Wednesday after a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi.

The new branch office will be set up in the first half of next year and will be manned by a diplomat, according to a statement released by the foreign ministry in Prague.

The Czech Republic currently has an embassy in Tel Aviv and three honorary consulates in Jerusalem, Eilat and Haifa. Two years ago, Czech House, a national cultural institute, opened in Jerusalem.

Czech President Milos Zeman has long campaigned for a complete move of his country’s mission to Jerusalem.

The future status of Jerusalem is one of the major points of contention in the Middle East conflict. Israel claims Jerusalem as its “eternal and indivisible capital.” The Palestinians also hold on to their claim to East Jerusalem as their capital.

The European Union sees a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states as the only way to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region.

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