Netanyahu, Pompeo Discuss Jerusalem Embassy Move With Honduran President

Three leaders discuss embassy move on sidelines of Bolsonaro inauguration

Noa Landau
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez during a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, January 1, 2019.
Noa Landau

Honduras may be the latest country to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem following a trilateral meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on the sidelines of the inauguration of right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Ahead of Netanyahu's return to Israel Tuesday overnight, the three discussed advancing the opening of embassies in Jerusalem and Tegucigalpa.

A joint statement said that Netanyahu, Hernandez and Pompeo agreed to hold meetings in the capitals of each country "to advance the decision process to open embassies in both Tegucigalpa and Jerusalem," as well as "strengthen political relations and coordinate development cooperation in Honduras."

The right-leaning Hernandez is the latest leader to consider following U.S. President Donald Trump's much-criticized decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem, which infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation. 

Hernandez told reporters the trilateral talks represented "an important political alliance." 

Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off aid to Honduras, a poor nation of less than 10 million people, over caravans of migrants crossing Mexico heading for the U.S. border. 

Guatemala, another country seeking closer U.S. ties, quickly joined Trump's decision and moved its embassy to Jerusalem just two days after the U.S. opened offices in May. Paraguay also followed, but a new government backtracked in September. 

Netanyahu said on Sunday that Bolsonaro told him it was a question of "when, not if" Brazil would move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.