Pacific island of Nauru recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The tiny island nation is the third country to follow the United States’ lead.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Pacific island Republic of Nauru has officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, joining the United States, Guatemala and Honduras in doing so.

The country’s U.N. mission sent a letter to its Israeli counterpart, stating, “The Mission of Nauru has the honor to convey the decision of the government of the Republic of Nauru to formally recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital city of the State of Israel.”

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz reacted with pleasure to the news.

“I commend @Republic_Nauru’s important decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” he tweeted Thursday. “Another move that ripens and bears fruit, following President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem [in 2018]….We will continue to strengthen Jerusalem’s diplomatic position! And continue to act to get additional countries to recognize and open diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.”

Nauru is a 21-square-kilometer island of some 11,000 people located north of Australia. It is one of the few countries that consistently supports Israel in the United Nations.

Nauru’s U.N. ambassador, Marlene Inemwin Moses, recently visited Israel and had a formal dinner with Katz and Nauru’s honorary consul in the country, David Ben Bassat, Ynet reported on Thursday. The Israeli hosts asked her if her government could take the bilateral relationship one step further and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. A few days later, she announced that the president, Baron Waqa, had consented.

Waqa last visited Israel in 2017. He said, at the time, that the people of Nauru, many of whom are devout Christians, “are all loyal and strong supporters of Israel” and that “no matter what happens, Nauru’s support of Israel is always guaranteed.”

Israel has sent practical aid to Nauru on several occasions, most recently purchasing a sewage treatment plant for a school there and paying for its delivery and installation. Together with Australia and New Zealand, Israel sent a medical team to the tiny nation to help them with a growing diabetes problem.