Colombia to Open Jerusalem Trade Office in Nod to Israel's Sovereignty
Colombia plans to open a trade and innovation office in Jerusalem on Tuesday, November 9, that would be a satellite of its Tel Aviv embassy, a move that signals President Ivan Duque’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over its capital city.
Arriving in Israel on Sunday, November 7, for a three-day visit, Duque will be present for the celebratory opening. Among his first stops in Israel was Jerusalem’s Old City, including a visit to the Western Wall, where he donned a kippah to pray and placed a note between the crevices.
Duque, who arrived in Israel on Sunday for a three-day visit, will be present for the celebratory opening. Among his first stops in Israel was Jerusalem’s Old City, including a visit to the Western Wall.
Duque made clear last year his commitment to Jerusalem when he first announced plans to open the trade office, during an address to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The move is seen as a partial victory for Israel’s campaign to push the international community to recognize Jerusalem as its capital, particularly in the wake of the US relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018. Only three countries have followed suit: Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo.
Most countries refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, nor do they view it as part of sovereign Israeli territory. As a result, most embassies in Israel are located in Tel Aviv, including Colombia’s. Equatorial Guinea and Malawi have also pledged to open embassies in Jerusalem.
The Czech Republic and Hungary took a small step toward recognition by opening diplomatic offices, and Colombia now follows.
Israel’s ambassador to Colombia, Christian Cantor, told reporters last week that Bogotá was a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people, and that Colombia plays a positive role in helping ties between Israel and Latin America.
In a video interview with the American Jewish Committee last year, Duque spoke of his strong feelings for Israel: “Colombia is the No. 1 ally of Israel in Latin America,” he said. It was a phrase Duque repeated when he landed in Israel after visiting the United Arab Emirates.
Duque is scheduled to meet with President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and will participate in several economic events, to increase bilateral ties. The six ministers will meet their Israeli counterparts. (JPost / VFI News)
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