Czech Republic Wants to Move Embassy to Jerusalem, 'Truly Happy' With Trump's Declaration

'We may sooner or later follow the United States,' Czech Republic President Milo Zeman stated a day after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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President Milos Zeman of of the Czech Republic addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, September 19, 2017.
President Milos Zeman of of the Czech Republic addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Credit: Richard Drew/AP
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

The Czech Republic said Thursday evening that it supported U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Wednesday that his country unilaterally recognizes Jerusalem to be the Israeli capital.

President of the Czech Republic Milo Zeman stated that now that the American president "proceeded in accordance with his election promise," he is "truly happy."

Zeman added that as he proclaimed during his visit to the Jewish state four years earlier, he "would appreciate the transfer of the Czech Embassy to Jerusalem, and had it happened, we would have been the first to do so."

He also noted that the republic would be happy to follow suit after the U.S. moves its embassy. "Now we may sooner or later follow the United States. In any case, it is still better than nothing."

Zeman expressed firm support of Israel, going on to add that "every country has the right to decide upon the location of its Embassy- as a rule in that very capital, of course."

In his statement, Zeman notably refrained from committing to a specific time frame within which the Czech Republic would relocate its embassy, much like Trump has done.

The Czech Republic's Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday that it recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that its embassy would move only according to how negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians proceed.

Last May, the Czech parliament voted to recognize Jerusalem, along the 1967 borders, as the capital of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted on Thursday that other countries are considering following in America's footsteps. So far, however, only the Philippines expressed a will to move its embassy in the near future. Israel's foreign ministry is operating to encourage other countries to move their embassies too, focusing on allies in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

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