Diplomacy

Honduras, Romania Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Hint at Possible Embassy Relocation

The leaders of Honduras and Romania announced on Sunday that they would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, following the lead of the United States, Reuters reported.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila made their announcements at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference in Washington, D.C..

“Today I have announced the first step, which is to open a trade office in Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel, and this will be an extension of our embassy in Tel Aviv,” Hernandez said. “I’ve said that a second step will draw a lot of attacks from the enemies of Israel and the United States, but we will continue along this path,” the president added.

Hernandez stopped short of announcing imminent plans to move Honduras’s embassy from Tel Aviv.

Dancila went a step further when she told the cheering crowd that, “I, as prime minister of Romania, and the government that I run, will move our embassy to Jerusalem,” breaking with European Union policy. Romania currently holds the EU’s rotating chairmanship.

The prime minister promised that Romania would “remain the same loyal friend and the strongest European voice in support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” concluding with the words, “shalom chaveirim (Peace friends), see you in Jerusalem.”

According to POLITICO, Dancila also told the audience that her country is working on three new laws to bolster the rights of Jews in Romania. Those laws include “granting Romanian citizenship to all Romanian Jews who were forced to renounce it when they left the country under the communist regime; granting compensation and special pensions for Holocaust survivors in Romania; and granting access to state archives to specialists from the Federation of Jewish Community in Romania.”

The U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy to the city in May. Guatemala followed suit soon after. In 2018, Guatemala and Honduras were two of only a handful of countries to join Israel and the United States in voting against a U.N. resolution calling on Washington to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

[Photo: Guvernul României / YouTube]