Liz Truss tells Israel she is ‘considering’ moving British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as PM mulls major foreign policy shift to copy Donald Trump’s controversial action as US president
Liz Truss has told Israel she is ‘positively considering’ moving the UK embassy to Jerusalem in a major shift in British foreign policy.
The Prime Minister informed her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid she was reviewing the British embassy’s current location in Tel Aviv.
Moving the British embassy to Jerusalem would be a copy of Donald Trump‘s controversial action when he was US president, which prompted bloody protests.
Countries have usually been loathe to base their embassies in Jerusalem as it is regarded as a capital by both Israel and the Palestinian leadership.
The majority of international embassies in Israel are based in Tel Aviv, which is viewed as a more neutral choice.
In 2017, Britain joined other members of the UN Security Council to reject the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
It followed Mr Trump’s announcement of his decision to move the US embassy to the city.
The Prime Minister informed her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid she was reviewing the British embassy’s current location in Tel Aviv
Liz Truss met with Israel’s PM at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday as she attended her first major international summit since replacing Boris Johnson
Ms Truss and Mr Lapid also held discussions in New York about trade, Iran and the Ukraine war
Ms Truss met with Mr Lapid at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday as she attended her first major international summit as PM.
Downing Street said Ms Truss had informed the Israel PM of her ‘review of the current location of the British embassy in Israel’, alongside discussions about trade, Iran and the Ukraine war.
Following their talks, Ms Lapid used Twitter to post a picture of their meeting and wrote: ‘I thank my good friend, British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who announced that she is positively considering moving the British Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
‘We will continue to strengthen the partnership between the countries.’
The US embassy officially opened in Jerusalem in May 2018, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel.
Former PM Theresa May condemned Mr Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv when he announced it the previous year.
At the time, she reiterated Britain’s ‘clear and long-standing’ position on Jerusalem’s status – that it should be determined as part of a peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians and should ultimately be a shared capital.