Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Sept. 21, 2022

Prime Minister Yair Lapid met Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York with UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who reportedly said she is considering moving the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Lapid expressed “his deepest condolences, on his own behalf and on behalf of the people of Israel, on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, ” congratulated Truss on taking office, and expressed “confidence that under their leadership, ties between Israel and the United Kingdom will reach new heights in various fields, in particular the economy, innovation and security,” Lapid’s office said in a statement.

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The Israeli prime minister further emphasized the “necessity of avoiding further compromises with Iran, and further emphasized that Israel’s expectation is the advancement of a longer and stronger deal that will provide a response to the full range of threats stemming from Iran.”

The two also discussed the “continued deepening of bilateral ties,” and instructed their teams to “quickly advance negotiations on a free trade agreement.”

The UK’s Daily Telegraph reported that Truss told Lapid that she may move Britain’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Truss informed Lapid “about her review of the current location of the British Embassy in Israel.”

When serving as Foreign Secretary, Truss pledged to move the embassy in a letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel.

The US was the first to make the historic move in May 2018. Guatemala followed shortly after. Several countries have since done the same, while others have upgraded their diplomatic presence in the capital.

In May, Suriname announced it has plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem in the near future.

Also in May, Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso announced the opening of an Ecuadorian office of innovation in Jerusalem.

In November 2021, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque was in Jerusalem to officially open the offices of the Colombian Innovation Authority (iNNpulsa) in the capital, the first of its kind outside of Colombia. The new office is headed by a special diplomatic envoy on the subject of innovation and is an extension of the Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Brazil and Honduras have trade offices in Jerusalem.

Honduras inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem in June 2021, and Kosovo opened its embassy in the city in March 2021.

The Dominican Republic, Malawi, and Equatorial Guinea have also announced their intentions to open embassies in Jerusalem.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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