Only a few days after Israeli media reported that the ministers of foreign affairs of Israel and Hungary had reached an agreement to move the Hungarian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the European Union authorities slammed such a plan.
The EU warned Hungary against moving its embassy to Jerusalem and criticised the plan, as according to them, this would undermine the long-term goal of the EU of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Commenting on the matter, the EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano, said that there is a long-standing position that calls on all UN member states to withdraw embassies and diplomatic missions to Israel from Jerusalem, Politico explains.
The same source notes that it is believed that the deal on the switch of Hungary’s consular mission to Jerusalem was reached in recent days. Nonetheless, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Szijjarto, has not either denied or confirmed the move.
While Minister Szijjarto did not talk on the matter, a person familiar with Hungary’s plans confirmed that the switch will happen.
According to Politico, such a move by the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, would be a diplomatic win for his Israeli counterpart, who at the same time is his ally, Benjamin Netanyahu. The latter has been facing criticism about the controversial reform that the government decided to take.
The decision of Hungary to move its diplomatic mission to Jerusalem was not taken overnight, as it is believed that the authorities of the two countries have been planning to take a step in this direction for quite some time now.
Earlier in 2019, Orbán relocated the trade department of Hungary’s mission to Israel to Jerusalem. This was one of the steps that the two countries took to hint that they plan on making similar moves in the future.
Hungary and Israel have been keeping close ties with one another, with Hungary being known as one of the closes allies of Israel in Europe.
Apart from Hungary, the US already took a similar decision in 2018. The former US president Donald Trump decided back then to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and permitted the move of the US mission there.
Following the decision of the US, several other countries also announced their intention to do so. However, it is not expected that the other EU countries will do the same as Hungary.
Source: Schengen Visa Info