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Arabs ired by Czech president’s Jerusalem embassy plan

Milos Zeman’s desire to move country’s representatives from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital deemed a ‘violation of Palestinian rights’

Czech Republic President Milos Zeman, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel on Monday October 7. (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)
Czech Republic President Milos Zeman, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel on Monday October 7. (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)

The Cairo-based Arab League condemned Wednesday remarks made by the Czech president about moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling them a violation of Palestinian rights and international resolutions.

Milos Zeman publicly voiced his opinion regarding the relocation of the Czech Republic’s Israel embassy at the opening of the annual Days for Israel forum in Hradec Kralove in East Bohemia last week, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

Zeman said he would push for the realization of his plan even after the country’s elections, set to take place later this month.

The Arab League had issued its condemnation at the request of Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who also demanded of the Czech government to disavow Zeman’s statements.

The 22-nation organization called for the summoning of the Czech ambassador in Cairo in order to convey the “danger” of Zeman’s remarks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed support for the Czech president’s proposal and said that if it were up to him, the Czech Republic could convert his own home into an embassy, Maariv reported.

During a meeting with Netanyahu which took place earlier this week, Zeman said that he had offered to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem in the past, but his plan had been torpedoed by then prime minister Ehud Olmert, who claimed that no suitable property was available at the capital.

There are currently no foreign embassies operating in Jerusalem, since the international community widely regards the fate of the city to be an issue for resolving at Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Israel annexed East Jerusalem and the Old City after capturing them in the 1967 Six Day War.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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