Israel welcomes the information that the Dominican Republic may transfer the embassy to Jerusalem

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Israel begins easing coronavirus restrictions as infection rate drops

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Saturday welcomed a statement by the Dominican Republic that the Caribbean country might consider moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Dominican Republic’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that it was evaluating the move at the request of the local Jewish community and finding that its embassy in Israel was in Jerusalem until 1980.

The Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi praised the Dominican Republic and thanked his Dominican counterpart Roberto Alvarez Gil for the exam.

“I thanked him yesterday during our phone conversation for this important decision and the long-standing friendship between our two countries,” said Ashkenazi on Twitter.

The announcement came just two months after the start of a new Dominican government led by President Luis Abinader, the grandson of Lebanese immigrants. Since coming to power, Abinader has described the country’s relationship with the United States, the Dominican Republic’s main trading partner, as “very special.”

A few days before a US presidential election, the declaration by the Dominicans followed on the heels of other Latin American countries that recently moved their embassies to Jerusalem or are considering it.

US President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election on Tuesday, angered the Palestinians and angered many world leaders by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in late 2017. The US embassy moved there the following year.

Guatemala moved its embassy to Jerusalem soon after, and Honduras has announced that it will do so by the end of 2020. Brazil is also considering moving.

Jerusalem’s status has been one of the most sensitive issues in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which Israel conquered in the Middle East War in 1967, as the capital of a future state. Israel considers the entire city, including the Eastern Sector, which it annexed after the 1967 war, to be its capital.

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