Press TV – In Brazil, Israel and the US have lobbied Honduras to follow in Washington’s footsteps and relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary Mike Pompeo met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on the sidelines of the inauguration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia on Tuesday.
The three “agreed to pursue a plan of action, which includes meetings in their three respective capitals, to advance the process of the decision to open embassies in both [the Honduran capital] Tegucigalpa and Jerusalem (al-Quds),” read a joint statement released by the US State Department.
They also agreed to “strengthen political relations and coordinate development cooperation in Honduras,” the statement added.
Netanyahu also held a separate meeting with Hernandez, but no information was released about it.
Honduras, a poor Central American country, had earlier expressed keenness to transfer its diplomatic mission to Jerusalem al-Quds in exchange for Tel Aviv opening an embassy in Tegucigalpa as well as technology sharing.
Late last month, a Honduran delegation visited the occupied territories to discuss developing bilateral relations and a possible embassy move, according to Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs.
In a highly controversial policy shift, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel in December 2017 and moved the American embassy to the ancient city months later.
The contentious measure sparked angry reactions by the Palestinians and drew the criticism of the international community.
The United nations General Assembly decisively backed a resolution calling on the US to drop its recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
Guatemala was quick to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds just two days after the US. Paraguay also followed suit, but later a new government reversed the decision.
Now, Brazil’s right-wing president is expected to move the country’s diplomatic mission to Jerusalem al-Quds.
Netanyahu said on Sunday that Bolsonaro had told him it was a question of “when, not if” Brazil would move its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israel lays claim to the whole Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the city’s eastern sector as occupied territory.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed the city in a move not recognized by the international community.