EU foiled in effort to prevent members from opening embassies in Jerusalem

Hungary and the Czech Republic vetoed the E.U. proposal seeking to block the transfer of diplomatic missions to Israel’s capital.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The European Union (E.U.) attempted to prevent its member states from opening official offices in Jerusalem, but failed due to the opposition of two of its member states, Israel’s Kan 11 News reported Wednesday.

The draft of the document stated, “Until a final agreement on Jerusalem is reached, the E.U. and its member states will continue to respect the international agreement on the location of the diplomatic missions.”

It did not pass because according to E.U. rules all such official statements must be backed by all 28 members. The Czech Republic and Hungary vetoed the document.

The E.U. has been frustrated by Israel’s success in convincing its members to buck the official E.U. stance opposing  recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital before an agreement is reached with the Palestinians.

The Czech Republic and Hungary have proven to be two of Israel’s staunchest allies. When the supranational body tried to convince its members to denounce the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem in May 2018, it was Hungary and the Czech Republic, joined by Romania, which blocked the attempted condemnation.

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Last November, the Czech Republic inaugurated a trade and tourism center in Jerusalem called “Czech House.” Hungary opened an official trade mission in March.

Meanwhile, on a visit to Israel in February, Slovakia’s prime minister announced that his country will open a cultural, information and innovation center “very soon in Jerusalem.”

His Romanian counterpart announced at the AIPAC conference in March that her government “intends” to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

According to Arutz7, E.U. sources said, “The European Union and its Member States will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem, including on the location of their diplomatic representations, until the final status is resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”