The Czech Republic on Thursday opened its first diplomatic headquarters in Jerusalem, which will house a diplomatic mission that will work alongside the embassy in Tel Aviv, in a gesture aimed at improving its relations with Israel.
Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, despite the fact that the international community considers it an international city and does not recognize Israeli aspirations, so the vast majority of diplomatic headquarters are located in Tel Aviv.
The Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, has thanked the Czech government for “leading the change in Europe towards the city of Jerusalem as a whole and its connection to the state of Israel”, according to ‘The Jerusalem Post’.
For his part, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babis, has assured that the country will have a “complete diplomatic mission” that will manage a variety of issues including consular work, economic cooperation and political relations.
“It represents a new milestone in our cooperation and proves that we see the importance of this great city,” Babis said during the inauguration.
Announcements regarding opening diplomatic offices or embassies in Jerusalem have started to appear since, in 2017, former U.S. President Donald Trump (2017-2021) announced the move of the U.S. embassy to the city.
The Czech Republic’s move is controversial at the European level, as the European Union’s position is the commitment to the two-state solution–Israel and Palestine–in which each controls the western and eastern part of the city, thus considering Jerusalem an Israeli-occupied territory.
For its part, Israel included the Czech Republic among the countries to which the Government would donate a symbolic quantity of vaccines following the success of its immunization campaign, but this donation has not yet materialized, since a legal framework is being sought.