Archive for Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last embassy plans move to Tel Aviv

August 29, 2006

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— Down a cramped alleyway, inside an unremarkable apartment building in a neighborhood that once separated Jerusalem's Jewish west from its Arab east, sits the Embassy of El Salvador, the last ambassadorial holdout in Israel's long struggle to secure global acceptance of this disputed holy city as its capital.

And now El Salvador is leaving. On Friday, El Salvador officially notified Israel's Foreign Office that its embassy would be packing up and leaving for Tel Aviv. Once it does, no country that has diplomatic relations with Israel will have an ambassador in Jerusalem.

El Salvador said it had decided to make the 40-mile trip to Tel Aviv after "analyzing with Israel the current situation in the Middle East," especially in light of the recent U.N. Security Council resolution coordinating a cease-fire in neighboring Lebanon, "which seeks to promote security and greater stability."

El Salvador, a Foreign Ministry statement said, "recognizes and guarantees the right of the state of Israel to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders." But, it added, "equally, the government of El Salvador repeats its recognition of the right of a Palestinian state to exist."

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