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Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone to Open Embassies in Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM, Israel¬†‚Äď A spokesperson for the prime minister of Papua New Guinea¬†has confirmed¬†he will be at a ceremony to¬†open his country’s embassy next week in Jerusalem.

The South Pacific island nation is the second country in three days to announce the establishment of an embassy in Israel’s capital. Sierra Leone’s president, Julius Maada Bio, said Friday his nation on Africa’s west coast would move its embassy from Tel Aviv, bringing the number of countries with their highest diplomatic stations in Jerusalem to six.

The United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and Kosovo have all put their embassies in Jerusalem since Former President Donald Trump moved the U.S. embassy in May of 2018, when Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary.

 

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Israel’s Foreign Ministry denied the report concerning Papua¬†New Guinea, but an Israeli official told¬†The Times of Israel¬†that “the details are not mistaken.” The ministry had said in February that Papua New Guinea would open an embassy here. Papua¬†New Guinea¬†has not yet established any diplomatic presence in Israel.¬†

According to Reuters, the embassy will be inaugurated on September 5th during a visit by President James Marape.

The office of President Bio in Sierra Leone put out a statement on X¬†Friday, saying that he had held a “progressive conversation” with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, during which they discussed “the warm relations between both countries that dates back to 1961 when #SierraLeone gained independence.”

Cohen has expressed hope that three more embassies would open soon in Jerusalem. The South American nation of Suriname had plans to do so, but apparently halted the plans for budgetary reasons.

Previously this month, Cohen met with Paraguay’s President Santiago Pe√Īa, and the two agreed that the South American nation would open a Jerusalem embassy within months.

Israel National News and other media outlets reported in March that Hungary would become the first EU nation to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but that has not yet materialized. Slovakia is another European country which has considered such a move.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has a meeting scheduled with Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister¬†Marape on the same day as next week’s ceremony.

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