Liz Truss has said she is considering moving the British Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a controversial move that would break decades of UK foreign policy in order to follow in the footsteps of Donald Trump.
At a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Prime Minister told the interim Israeli leader, Yair LapidAbout the “review of the current location” of the building, Downing Street said in a statement.
The status of Jerusalem, which Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital, is one of the Most sensitive issues in a long-running conflict.
East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, has been occupied Palestinian territory under international law since the Six-Day War of 1967.
Like the vast majority of the international community, the UK’s position up to this point has been that the divided city should host consulates, rather than embassies, even final peace agreement accessed.
Trump’s 2018 investigation of Campaign Promise The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital drew international condemnation, and led to protests and clashes during which Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians. Then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May swipe the move in time.
On Thursday, the Israeli prime minister tweeted his thanks to Truss for what he called “positive thinking” about the move. “We will continue to strengthen the partnership between the two countries,” he said.
The Guardian understands that moving the embassy was one of a raft of options that State Department staff presented to Truss in late 2021 during her tenure as secretary of state. However, she did not make any substantive policy changes during her two years at the State Department.
The prime minister appears to have first publicly brought up the idea of moving the embassy in a letter to the parliamentary group of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) during Conservative Party leadership campaign during summer.
She wrote: “I understand the importance and sensitivity of the location of the British Embassy in Israel. I have had many conversations with my dear friend … Lapid on this subject. In recognition of this, I will review a move to ensure that we are operating on the strongest foundations inside Israel.”
In a rant with the CFI, she vowed that “Under my leadership, Israel will never have a loyal friend in the world. That’s what I’ve done as Secretary of State and Secretary of Commerce. I don’t just talk – I walk the walk.”
After lobbying in the House of Commons on September 6 by Conservative MP Michael Fabricant to pursue the US and move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Foreign Secretary Amanda Milling said: “The British Embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv. I am aware of the possibility of a review, but I will not further speculate on this point.”
Her notes suggest that a review is only ongoing, but advocates of the move within the Conservative Party claim that the proposal will be even less controversial than it was a few years ago due to the Trump administration setting a precedent, and Thaw in relationships Between Israel and some Arab countries in the wake of the Abraham Accords.
Downing Street has been contacted to explain how long the review will take.
Other than the US, only three countries have embassies for Israel in Jerusalem – Kosovo, Honduras and Guatemala – all of which moved from Tel Aviv after the US relocation.