UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Czech Republic’s Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that it would reopen its consulate in Jerusalem in May while Czech President Milos Zeman expressed his desire to transfer his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
But that can only happen if the government approves the matter, which is still uncertain.
“The Czech Republic decided to open an honorary consulate in West Jerusalem in May and before the end of the year a Czech center in West Jerusalem as well,” a foreign ministry statement said.
“The Czech Republic fully respects the common position of the European Union, which considers Jerusalem as the future capital of two states, the State of Israel and the future state of Palestine,” the statement said.
An honorary Czech consulate was opened in Jerusalem in the early 1990s and then closed in 2016 due to the death of the honorary consul, said ministry spokeswoman Mikaela Lagrunova.
Czech President Zeman, who is known for his pro-Israel positions, said on Wednesday evening that he wanted to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.
“I remember a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. He told me, ‘If you do this, I will give you my house,'” he told a ceremony in Prague marking Israel’s 70th anniversary.
“Those Europeans, not just the Europeans,” who oppose the transfer of their embassies to Jerusalem, are “cowards.”
He added that he did not copy “the proposal of the United States, but on the contrary, the United States is the copy of his proposal.”
A foreign ministry spokeswoman said the Czech president expressed his desire to transfer his country’s embassy to Jerusalem when he was prime minister (1998-2002).
On Wednesday, the Czech president’s office issued a letter to Netanyahu.
“I am happy that I will be able to welcome you at the end of the year in Israel, where I hope to be able to open the Czech embassy in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish state,” the letter said.