Suriname backtracks on pledge, will not open embassy in Jerusalem

Suriname is currently represented in Israel by a consulate in Tel Aviv.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Surinamese President Chan Santokhi has backtracked on his pledge to establish an embassy in Jerusalem.

“There is no budget for setting up an embassy of Suriname in Israel,” Santokhi told the South American country’s National Assembly on Thursday.

Meeting in Jerusalem at the end of May with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Suriname’s top diplomat stated his country’s plans to open an embassy in the Israeli capital. The announcement came on the day after Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty following the 1967 Six-Day War.

The two signed an agreement on political consultations between their foreign ministries.

On Thursday, however, Suriname reversed its decision, saying it lacked the funds to open the embassy.

Suriname had appointed non-resident ambassador Stevanus Noordzee to Israel in March. Noordzee “will continue to serve, support, give substance to the cooperative relationship, from Suriname,” the president said, according to Reuters.

Santokhi did not rule out the opening of an embassy in Israel in the long term, but he said Suriname needed “to receive a report (from the foreign minister) and see what the findings are and the recommendations are, and to take follow-up steps based on that,” Reuters reported.

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Suriname is currently represented in Israel by a consulate in Tel Aviv.

For now, the U.S., Honduras, Guatemala and Kosovo have embassies in Jerusalem. The Dominican Republic, Malawi, and Equatorial Guinea have announced their intentions to follow suit.