Middle East, Africa

Equatorial Guinea to move embassy to Jerusalem: Israel

Decision announced by African country's president in phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu, says Israeli premier's office

Abdelraouf Arnaout   | 19.02.2021
Equatorial Guinea to move embassy to Jerusalem: Israel

JERUSALEM

Equatorial Guinea will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Israel’s prime minister said on Friday.

Teodoro Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea, conveyed the decision in a phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a statement by the Israeli premier’s office.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu has welcomed the trend in which countries are transferring their embassies to Jerusalem,” read the statement.

Stressing Israel’s commitment to enhance cooperation with African countries, Netanyahu said: “Israel is returning to Africa and Africa is returning to Israel in a big way.”

Equatorial Guinea joins several other countries that have pledged to shift their embassies to Jerusalem ever since the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv in 2018.

Only Guatemala has followed suit until now, but countries such as Malawi, Honduras, Brazil, Kosovo, Serbia, Romania, and others have announced similar plans.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel since 1967 – might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as “occupied territory” under international law, making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara.

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