Netanyahu reportedly hopes to seal the deal in next few days

Honduras mulling moving embassy to Jerusalem — report

Senior delegation said to visit Israel with list of demands aimed at increasing trade, security ties between the two countries

Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez talks during an economic forum as part the XXVI Iberoamerican Summit in Antigua, Guatemala, November 15, 2018 (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez talks during an economic forum as part the XXVI Iberoamerican Summit in Antigua, Guatemala, November 15, 2018 (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

A delegation of senior officials from Honduras was recently in Israel, reportedly to explore the possibility of moving the Honduran embassy to Jerusalem, after secret talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to a Hadashot TV news report Sunday, Honduras is demanding that Israel open an embassy in its capital, Tegucigalpa, and deepen bilateral trade in exchange for relocating its mission.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon confirmed the delegation’s visit, but said only that there was an “ongoing process of discussions that has yet to mature.” There was no immediate confirmation from Tegucigalpa.

The report said that talks are at an advanced stage and a building has been allocated in the capital for the Honduran embassy.

The visiting delegation, which included a presidential adviser, two former foreign ministers, and the Honduras deputy foreign minister, met Sunday with Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and the director-general of the Foreign Ministry, Yoval Rotem.

The Hondurans are particularly interested in getting advice from Israeli experts on cyber issues, crime fighting, water, and agriculture, the report said.

Foreign Ministry sources were quoted as saying that the Hondurans also indicated that they are keen to see improved ties with the administration in Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the foreign minister, is set to traveling to Brazil on Thursday for the inauguration of president-elect Jair Bolsonoro next week.

Efforts are being made to set up a meeting with Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who will also be at the ceremony, to seal the Jerusalem embassy move, the report said.

Bolsonaro announced in November his intention to move his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Earlier this month, Australia announced its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but said that an embassy shift from Tel Aviv will not occur until a peace deal with the Palestinians is achieved.

The Arab League decided Tuesday to dispatch a “high-ranking delegation” to Brazil and Australia to inform officials in those countries of the need to “abide by international law” concerning Jerusalem.

Israel won control from Jordan of Jerusalem’s eastern neighborhoods in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed them, declaring the entire city its “eternal and indivisible capital,” in a move not recognized by most of the international community. Palestinians claim the eastern part as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

In December, US President Donald Trump decided to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and declared that it recognized Israel’s capital as Jerusalem.

The embassy was transferred in May in a move that sparked outrage in much of the Arab world. Two days later, Guatemala moved its embassy to the capital.

The Palestinian leadership has slammed Australia and Brazil over their policies on the city.

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