British PM Might Move UK Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
On Wednesday, new British Prime Minister Liz Truss told Yair Lapid, her Israeli counterpart, about the possibility of shifting the country’s embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
The two spoke at the United Nations where she disclosed that she was reviewing the possible relocation of the embassy.
Lapid thanked the British leader in a tweet for considering this move. He stated that they will continue to strengthen the partnership that exists between the two nations.
Back in 2017, former president of the US, Donald Trump, had ordered Washington to shift its embassy to Jerusalem, the move had earned criticism from the Prime Minister of UK at the time, Theresa May.
The previous month, before Truss had become the prime minister, she had told UK’s Conservative Friends of Israel that she would look into the decision of the UK to stay in Tel Aviv if she became the British premier.
She said that she understood the sensitivity and importance of the location of UK’s embassy in Israel. She also stated that she had had several discussions on this topic with her friend Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
Former UK diplomats had obviously criticized that announcement back in August, as predicted. 10 of these diplomats had said that an embassy shift should be put on hold until a Palestinian state is established.
The Trump administration had gone through with its decision of shifting the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.
Some of the other countries that also have their embassies in the capital of Israel include Kosovo, Guatemala and Honduras.
As for countries like Australia, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Hungary, they have their official defense or trade branches located in Jerusalem.
On Wednesday afternoon at the UN General Assembly, Lapid and Truss had sat together on the sidelines.
During the conversation, the Israeli premier stressed that Iran should not be given any more Western concessions in the talks of a return to the nuclear deal of 2015.
Lapid also highlighted his vision of a ‘stronger and longer’ deal. The two premiers also instructed their staff members to quickly come up with a free trade agreement between the two nations.
The Israeli Prime Minister had also congratulated Truss on becoming the premier and had offered his condolences for the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Truss had previously been the foreign secretary and became the premier of the UK after a reshuffle in the Conservative Party, thereby replacing Boris Johnson.
The 47 year old Truss is one of the youngest one to ever become prime minister and is a liberal right-winger.
The UK’s Israel policy had had a watershed moment back in 2017 when it had decided to not support an international statement of a two-state solution in regards to Israel.
Before that, the United Kingdom had voted the same as other European countries, which meant supporting statements and policies that criticized Israel.
Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, it can have an independent foreign policy.