US President Donald Trump’s expected Wednesday announcement that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and plans to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv has reportedly led leaders of other countries to express interest in moving their missions to the city.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sent a message to Israel that he wanted to move his country’s embassy to the capital, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported Wednesday.
Other countries have also contacted the Foreign Ministry, some of them to explore moving their embassies to Jerusalem, the report said, including an unnamed state in Eastern Europe.
Duterte, widely criticized for mass extrajudicial killings, announced in May that he was planning to visit Israel.
Though leaders of countries around the world have criticized the planned move by Trump, with some Muslim nations warning it could lead to an “escalation” of tensions, in Jerusalem the news was welcomed.
The municipality announced it will hold a celebration in Kikar Safra, “like the celebration of November 29” when the United Nations, in 1947, agreed to a partition plan which paved the way for the Jewish state.
In his first public comments alluding to the US’s expected announcement Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised “important expressions” of Israel’s national identity, “especially today.”
Speaking in a video posted to his Facebook page, Netanyahu said he would have further comments on Trump’s expected move later in the day.