Czech Republic Considering Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

The opening of a Czech cultural center in Jerusalem in November could be understood as a 'first step,' says a spokesman for President Milos Zeman

Czech President Milos Zeman hands over a document to Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek during the cabinet's inauguration at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic June 27, 2018.
David W Cerny/Reuters

The Czech Republic is considering moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following a similar move by the United States earlier this year.

The opening of a Czech cultural center in Jerusalem in November could be understood as a "first step," a spokesman for President Milos Zeman said on Wednesday.

He added that the move could only happen "in accordance with international law."

The United States riled Palestinians when it moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. 

Zeman, the most important supporter of the plan to move the embassy to Jerusalem, is expected to hold an official visit to Israel in November.

In April , Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis made it clear that the Czech Republic would not move its embassy to Jerusalem. This was after Zeman expressed support for the move. In December , the president declared that he supported the unilateral American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Last week, the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry announced the move of the embassy from Jerusalem to back Tel Aviv. In response, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that Israel would close its embassy in Paraguay and recall its ambassador for consultations following the announcement, according to the Prime Minister's Office.

Paraguay officially moved its embassy to Jerusalem on May 21, making it the third country to move their embassy to Jerusalem, following the United States and Guatemala.