Britain’s PM Sunak scraps plans to move embassy to Jerusalem

“There are no plans to move the British embassy,” Sunak’s spokesperson stated.

By World Israel News Staff

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has walked back a promise made by his predecessor, Liz Truss, to move the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, after being warned that “the entire governmental system” would oppose the move.

“It has been looked at,” Sunak’s spokesperson said on Thursday. “There are no plans to move the British embassy.”

According to the UK Jewish News website, Sunak, who is pro-Israel, reached the decision to keep the embassy in its current location in Tel Aviv after Truss’ proposal was met with vehement backlash.

“The PM was left in no doubt of the strength of opposition he would face if he continued to proceed to the embassy proposal,” a source told the news site. “He seemed to take on the board this message.”

Sunak also received strong condemnation over the proposal from pro-Palestinian elements, including Arab diplomats in London, prominent church leaders and pro-Palestinian rights groups. Even some Israeli diplomatic voices were “less than enthusiastic” about any change in location, the report said.

The British group of Reform Jews last month issued a statement warning against the move, saying it could “undermine peace in the region.”

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Downing Street’s announcement that the plans to move the embassy had been shelved came after Sunak met with a group of Israeli and Gulf Arab diplomats on Wednesday to celebrate the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords that normalized relations between Israel and several Arab nations.

“The accords have kickstarted a new era of relations in trade, tourism, security and more. This is the dividend of diplomacy,” he said.

Truss, who touted herself as a “huge Zionist,” had told outgoing Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September that she was reviewing an embassy move.

During his campaign to take over as head of the Conservative party, Sunak told the Conservative Friends of Israel that Jerusalem is “undisputedly the historic capital.”

“Clearly, there’s a very strong case for it to be recognised … so it is something I would like to do.”