A day after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that other countries are now looking into moving their embassies to the city.
"We are in contact with other countries that will recognize similar recognition, and I have no doubt that as soon as the U.S. Embassy moves to Jerusalem and before that, more embassies will also move," Netanyahu said at the Foreign Ministry Thursday.
On Wednesday it was reported that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed interest in moving his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On the same day, the Czech Republic said it recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, adding that it "considers Jerusalem to be future capital of both states, meaning the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine."
On Wednesday, Netanyahu lauded Trump's recognition of Jerusalem, calling it a "historic day." He said that any peace agreement with the Palestinians must include Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and added that there will be no change in the status of the city's holy sites.
Earlier Thursday, Reuters reported that the United States is asking Israel to temper its response to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital because Washington expects a backlash and is weighing the potential threat to U.S. facilities and people.
"While I recognize that you will publicly welcome this news, I ask that you restrain your official response," a State Department document dated December 6 said in talking points for diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to convey to Israeli officials.
Trump called the move to recognize Jerusalem "a long overdue step to advance the peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians. He also said that the U.S. would support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if agreed upon by both sides.
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