Diplomacy

Czech Republic Reopens Honorary Consulate in Jerusalem

The Czech Republic on Tuesday reopened its honorary consulate in Jerusalem, after Czech President Milos Zeman said his country wishes to move the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, The Times of Israel reported.

Founded in the early 1990s, the Czech honorary consulate in Jerusalem was closed in 2016 due to the death of the honorary consul.

Czech President Milos Zeman made the announcement at an event in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday last month. He said he hoped to see not only the relocation of the embassy but “many, many institutions: Czech Invest, Czech Trade, Czech Tourism, Czech Center,” which he vowed would all “be transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

The Czech Foreign Ministry in a statement issued on April 25 confirmed the move. “The Czech Republic has decided to open in May an honorary consulate in West Jerusalem, and before the end of the year a Czech (cultural) center, also in West Jerusalem,” the statement said. The final stage would be the moving of the embassy, for which no timetable was given.

“This step in no way prejudges the final agreement concerning Jerusalem,” the statement said. “The Czech Republic fully respects common policy of the European Union, which considers Jerusalem as the future capital of both the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine.”

The Czech News Agency (CTK) reported that Dan Propper, a 78-year-old Israeli businessman of Czech origin, had been named the new honorary consul. “I see my contribution as being especially focused on economic relations because I have links to the local entrepreneurial community,” Propper told the CTK.

Last week, Paraguay became the third nation to open an embassy in Jerusalem, following the United States and Guatemala. Other countries have expressed desire to move their embassies to Jerusalem including Romania. In upcoming weeks, it is expected that Honduras will announce its embassy move to Jerusalem.

[Photo: ILTV ISRAEL DAILY / YouTube]