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April 10, 2018 11:52 am

Honduran President Cancels Participation in Israel’s 70th Anniversary Ceremony

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets with the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, in Jerusalem, October 29, 2015. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO.

JNS.org – The Israeli Foreign Ministry has announced that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández will not take part in a torch-lighting ceremony marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day.

“Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández will not attend Israel’s 70th-anniversary festivities, as originally planned,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The Foreign Ministry regrets his not coming and welcomes the friendship between the two countries.”

It was announced last week that Hernández would become the first foreign leader to take part in the annual torch-lighting ceremony. However, the announcement stirred controversy in Israel, with many criticizing his country’s poor human-rights record. This led to the Honduran government to reportedly cancel his participation out of concern that he would be a distraction.

Nevertheless, the Central American country is a strong supporter of Israel.

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In February, Honduras was one of only eight countries that opposed a UN General Assembly resolution condemning US President Donald Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, along with Guatemala, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, and, of course, Israel.

Honduras is similarly considering moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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