- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala Expresses Intent to Move Embassy to Jerusalem, Citing Symbolic Support for Israel
In a significant announcement, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, representing the ODS party, has stated his intention to relocate the Czech Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem within the next few months. Fiala emphasized that while the move involves complications, it is a crucial symbolic gesture that demonstrates unwavering support for Israel. His remarks came during a session of the Chamber of Deputies in response to a question from opposition MP Milan Feranec of ANO regarding the government’s timeline for the proposed relocation.
Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, representing the Pirates party, has expressed reservations about the move. However, Fiala clarified that he is not in dispute with Lipavsky on this issue. Fiala believes that taking this symbolic step is the right approach, and he aims to expedite the process, taking all relevant aspects into account, including security considerations. The recent terrorist attacks on Israel by the Palestinian Hamas movement have added urgency to the decision.
Prime Minister Fiala stressed the critical role of Israel in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East, emphasizing Israel’s unique position as the only fully democratic country in the region. He believes that Hamas’ actions are aimed at disrupting the peace process and hindering Israel from reaching an agreement with Saudi Arabia.
Fiala acknowledged that it would be more impactful if more countries simultaneously decided to move their embassies to Jerusalem. Responding to suggestions that the Czech embassy’s office in Jerusalem could be immediately designated as the official embassy, Fiala noted that a full relocation holds more significance in international politics.
In addition to advocating for the embassy relocation, Prime Minister Fiala has called for the suspension of the EU’s financial aid to the Palestinian territories, citing concerns that the funds might inadvertently support terrorist organizations. He stated that it is essential to ensure that financial aid does not reach such groups.
Foreign Minister Lipavsky, however, believes that relocating the embassy to Jerusalem would contravene international law, UN Security Council resolutions, and the EU’s unified position on the matter. Lipavsky also highlighted the current security turmoil and the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict as reasons to exercise caution in drawing international attention through such a decisive step.
While the debate over the embassy’s relocation continues, it is clear that this move has garnered differing opinions within the Czech government and other political figures, with concerns ranging from international law to diplomatic and security considerations.
Article by Prague Forum