Malawi Announces Plans to Open Embassy in Jerusalem

Malawi and Israel currently do not have diplomatic offices in the other country ■ A handful of other countries, chiefly the U.S., have announced embassies in Jerusalem

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Noa Landau
Noa Landau

Malawi plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2021, said a joint statement on Tuesday by its foreign minister, Eisenhower Mkaka, and his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi.  

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In a press briefing, Ashkenazi said Mkaka told him Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera "decided to open an embassy in Israel and establish it in Jerusalm," adding: "I look forward to your embassy opening soon, and I’m sure more African leaders will follow this brave decision.”

Mkaka and Ashkenazi agreed during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that Israel will expand its assistance to Malawi in the areas of defense and agriculture, the ministers said.

They also discussed developments in the Middle East, and Ashkenazi has asked for Malawi's backing in Israel's efforts to curb Iran and Hezbollah's influence in the region. 

Mkaka also referenced Israel's "historic" normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, saying their signing "represents a shift in paradigm in the Middle East."

Israel and Malawi have had diplomatic ties since 1964.

Malawi currently has no diplomatic office in Israel, and Israel does not have one in Malawi. The two countries manage their relationship through representative offices in Nairobi.

On Friday, the Dominican Republic said it was is considering moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election on Tuesday, enraged the Palestinians and angered many world leaders by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in late 2017, and the U.S. embassy moved there the following year.

Guatemala moved its embassy to Jerusalem soon afterwards, and last month, Honduras announced its intention to do the same by the end of 2020. Brazil is also mulling the move.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump announced last month that Kosovo and Serbia may also open embassies in Jerusalem.

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