Rishi Sunak Scraps Plan of Moving Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
According to Downing Street, Liz Truss’ plan of relocating the British embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv has been abandoned by the new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
When Truss had taken up the position of prime minister, she had ordered a review to assess if the United Kingdom should also follow in the footsteps of the Trump administration and shift the UK embassy from Tel Aviv.
The question was put forward to a spokesperson about whether the UK government was still contemplating such a move.
The spokesperson clarified that the decision had been considered, but there were no plans in the works for shifting the British embassy.
This development came after a group of foreign reporters had been told by UK government officials that they did not plan on shifting the British embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
The Palestinian mission in the United Kingdom had welcomed this statement. Truss had met Yair Lapid, the outgoing Israeli prime minister, in New York back in September.
They had both been in attendance at the UN general assembly and she had told him that they were doing a review of the situation.
However, the announcement had received a great deal of backlash from church leaders in Britain, the Arab ambassadors in London, foreign ministries in Europe, pro-Palestinian groups and a few Conservative MPs who have substantial Muslim populations in their constituencies.
Even considering the British Foreign Office, this U-turn appears to be rather furtive, and the manner in which it has happened is rather perplexing.
This is because it occurred only days after Sunak met with Arab and Israeli diplomats for celebrating the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords.
These had been brokered by the Trump administration, which established diplomatic ties between Israel and a number of Arab countries.
The UK premier
Sunak is an enthusiastic Israeli supporter and had had a meeting on Wednesday with a group of Gulf Arab and Israeli diplomats in the United Kingdom.
The meeting saw him praising the Abraham Accords, as he said that they had launched a new era of relations in terms of security, tourism, trade and more.
He went on to say that it has been 45 years since Anwar Sadat had addressed the Knesset after traveling to Israel.
The premier said that their generation had taken up his torch with the Abraham Accords and they should continue with this journey.
He went on to say that they need to work closely together for ensuring prosperity, stability and lasting peace and for delivering hope.
Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to Britain, had also welcomed the announcement about the embassy move.
He said that they wanted to thank the UK government and also the activists, faith leaders and members of the public who had helped in resolving this matter.
He also asserted that there should not have been any question about the location of the UK embassy at all and it should stay in Tel Aviv where it is right now.