According to newly installed Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, there are numerous countries that are interested in moving their embassies to Yerushalayim – and to encourage them to do so, Israel will offer a package that will include up to NIS 50 million in aid to countries that move their embassies, a report in Yisrael Hayom said.
Katz intends to present the plan to the government in the coming weeks. Calling the effort a “national, diplomatic and strategic objective of the first degree,” Katz intends to go on an all-out campaign to get as many countries as possible to join the United States and Guatemala in moving their embassies. According to the report, numerous countries in Africa and Asia, as well as El Salvador and Honduras, have expressed interest in doing so.
The latter have set as a condition the opening of an Israeli embassy in their capitals; currently Israel only has a consular office in both countries. Many of the former have asked for Israeli assistance in agriculture, water and technology, as well as financial assistance in moving their embassies.
The Foreign Ministry has not responded to these requests, essentially freezing the process – but Katz aims to unfreeze it now. As part of the plan, Katz plans to offer up to NIS 50 million in assistance to countries, both for development and moving costs. The plan would only take effect after the election, when a new government passes a budget for 2020.
Commenting on the plan, Katz said, that “Promoting the status of Yerushalayim in the world is an important goal that I have set for myself as foreign minister. Yerushalayim was and will always be the beating heart of the Jewish people.”