Bucharest and Tegucigalpa announce embassy move; Romanian PM praises relations with US and Israel; Jordanian King cancels visit to Romania “in solidarity with Jerusalem”; PLO: These moves are unilateral and illegal.
Romania and Honduras announced they would relocate their embassies to Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington DC.
President Juan Orlando Hernández announced on Sunday, “Today I have announced the first step, which is to open a trade office in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, and this will be an extension of our embassy in Tel Aviv… Honduras will immediately open our official diplomatic mission – and this will extend our embassy to the capital of Israel, Jerusalem.” He did not give a timeframe for the relocation.
Shortly after, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă reported that she too would follow the United States’ lead and also move its embassy. She praised US-Israeli relations and commended the “admirable and brave step” made by President Trump, stating “As we all know, President Donald Trump opened the Embassy of the United States in Jerusalem. This admirable and brave step impressed me, my government and the Romanian people. Moving the American Embassy is emblematic and it proves the powerful connection of values and interests between the American people and the Israeli people.” She then announced, “The Romanian government initiated a process to evaluate the opportunity of moving Romania’s embassy to Jerusalem. This is why I am delighted to announce today… that after the completion of the analysis by all constitutional actors involved in the decision process in my country and in full consensus, I, as the prime minister of Romania, and the government that I lead, will move Romania’s embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”
Her announcement is significant as Romania currently holds the European Union’s rotating chairmanship. She took to Twitter shortly after her speech, stating “I was honored to speak today at the AIPAC Policy Conference. Israel and the United States are strategic partners and great friends of the Romanian people. We will continue our strong, strategic and economic relationship.”
Shortly after, Jordan’s King Abdullah II condemned Romania and cancelled a scheduled visit to Bucharest in response to the embassy move announcement. A spokesman for the king confirmed on Monday, “His Majesty King Abdullah II canceled a visit to Romania that had been scheduled to start Monday, in solidarity with Jerusalem.”
The Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat claimed both Romania and Honduras’s intentions are illegal, stating in response Sunday, “These moves are unilateral and illegal. They contribute to igniting the region to satisfy the Trump Administration and the rising “right” around the globe and encourage the Israeli extreme “right” to continue violations of the law and international legitimacy.”