Colombia will open commercial office in Jerusalem in recognition of Israel’s sovereignty

Duque, who is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday for a three-day visit, will be present for the inauguration of the celebration.

He first announced the opening of the business office last year at the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee. It is seen as a partial victory for Israel’s campaign to pressure the international community to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, particularly following the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem by the United States in 2018. Only three countries have followed suit. example: Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo.

Most countries refuse to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, nor do they see it as part of Israel’s sovereign territory. As a result, most of the embassies in Israel are located in Tel Aviv, including that of Colombia. Equatorial Guinea and Malawi have also pledged to open embassies in Jerusalem.

The Czech Republic and Hungary have taken a small step in the direction of recognition of Jerusalem by opening diplomatic offices in Jerusalem. Columbia will now do the same.

A soldier dressed in a historical uniform waves a Colombian flag at an event attended by President Iván Duque to commemorate the bicentennial of the country’s first constitution, in Villa del Rosario, Colombia, on October 6, 2021 (credit: REUTERS / NATHALIA ANGARITA).

In a video interview with the American Jewish Committee last year, Duque spoke of his strong feelings for Israel.

“Colombia is Israel’s number one ally in Latin America,” Duque said.

The president of Columbia will be accompanied by six ministers, including those in charge of health, agriculture, environment, transportation, commerce and defense. The large delegation will also include businessmen and members of the Colombian Jewish community numbering less than 10,000 people.

Although Israel and Colombia established relations shortly after Israel’s establishment, it was not until 2013 that a Colombian president, a position then held by Juan Manuel Santos, visited Israel.

Both men, the former and current president, set their sights on Israel as a sign of the growing ties between the two countries and formalized a free trade agreement in 2020. This occurred simultaneously with Colombia’s recognition of Palestine as a state in 2018 .

The Israeli ambassador to Colombia, Christian Cantor, stressed that Colombia was a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people. Colombia plays a positive role regarding ties between the Jewish state and Latin America, Cantor added.

Duque will arrive in Israel after a visit to the United Arab Emirates and will tour the Old City of Jerusalem.

During his stay in Israel, Duque will meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and participate in a series of economic events, with the aim of increasing bilateral ties. The six ministers will meet with their Israeli counterparts.



Reference-www.jpost.com

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