These Are the Countries Planning to Participate in Israel's Celebrations of U.S. Embassy Move

Though Egypt and most EU nations will skip event, there will be representatives from all parts of the world

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Jerusalem prepares for the opening of the U.S. embassy, May 12, 2018.
Jerusalem prepares for the opening of the U.S. embassy, May 12, 2018.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

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The United States will relocate its embassy to Jerusalem on Monday in a highly anticipated move that has sparked Palestinian anger and raised the ire of the European Union. However, Sunday's gala in honor of the embassy move, hosted by Israel's Foreign Ministry, will see representatives from across the world, including four from the EU which voiced opposition to the move.

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Jared Kunsher, Ivanka Trump and Steven Mnuchin land in Israel for Jerusalem embassy opening.

These are the countries that will attend tonight's event together with a U.S. delegation that includes U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who landed earlier today: Albania, Angola, Austria, Cameroon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Kenya, Macedonia, Burma, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Serbia, South Sudan, Thailand, Ukraine, Vietnam, Paraguay, Tanzania and Zambia.

Netanyahu is currently meeting with Kushner. The official U.S. delegation is headed by deputy secretary of state, John J. Sullivan, and will also include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and 12 members of Congress.

The event will be boycotted by most European Union ambassadors in Israel.

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Some 32 of the 86 envoys accepted the invitation to the reception Sunday evening. At least four of those attending will be from EU nations - Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria and Romania - though Brussels has strongly come out against the embassy move. The rest of the European delegates are not expected to attend, nor are representatives of Russia, Egypt or Mexico.

The entire Israeli cabinet will attend the reception, along with the chairpersons of the Knesset committees, all the members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and the rest of the coalition lawmakers. This means that most of the members of the opposition (except for opposition chairman MK Isaac Herzog and the opposition members who are on the foreign affairs committee).

Unlike the gala, which is organized by Israel, no foreign envoys were invited to the embassy's opening ceremony itself, which is being organized by the U.S. administration. Only the highest-ranking Israeli officials were invited, as well as leaders of Israel's political parties. Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg and Joint List head Aymen Odeh will not attend the ceremony.

Israeli Arabs and Palestinians from East Jerusalem will protest the embassy move, which comes days ahead of Nakba Day.

Ayman Odeh, the lawmaker that heads the Joint Arab List, Israel's sole Arab party, said "there is nothing to celebrate with the embassy moving to Jerusalem. This is a provocative step that destroys he idea of peace. The Trump-Netanyahu alliance continues to deepen the conflict, and the thuggish manner these two leaders conduct themselves sets the tone for the radical right and fuels racism, hatred and violence. East Jerusalem will be the capital of Palestine and the West will be Israel's capital. There is no other way.

The head of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, Mohammad Barakeh vowed to "raise our voice against the U.S. policy, which supports the occupation and the settlements and kills the possibility of setting up a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital within the 1967 borders."

Despite the Foreign Ministry confirming their arrival, the Vietanmese delegation did attend the Gala on Sunday.

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