Honduras has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and opened a trade office in Jerusalem, a “first step” toward opening an official embassy, the country’s president said.
President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Sunday opened the office – a trade mission with diplomatic status in Jerusalem – which is an extension of the Honduran embassy in Tel Aviv. Last week he officially recognized the city as Israel’s capital.
“For me it’s the recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” Hernandez said.
The Honduran foreign ministry said the country is considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem. The United States and Guatemala are the only countries to have done so until now while the Czech Republic, Hungary and Australia opened trade offices. Slovakia, Brazil and Ukraine have pledged to open similar missions in Jerusalem as well.
At the opening ceremony on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would reciprocate this show of support.
“I have committed, and this is a commitment I want to repeat again: We will open embassies simultaneously,” he said. “We are going to open an office of trade and technology in Tegucigalpa soon. Now. Next week. There is this reciprocity of friends, genuine friends.”
According to reports, Honduras has demanded that in exchange for moving its Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem, Israel should open an embassy in Tegucigalpa.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority denounced Honduras’s diplomatic office in Jerusalem and threatened to formally complain about the move at the United Nations.
Hernandez toured the capital on Monday and prayed at the Western Wall.
Photo Credit Kobi Gideon/GPO