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December 18, 2018 11:48 am

Georgia Mulls Moving Its Embassy to Jerusalem

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President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili, who assumed office on Dec. 16, 2018. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Georgia is contemplating relocating its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

In a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely in the country on Sunday, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced that she would begin bilateral talks with Israel over the possible transfer of the country’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

Hotovely, one of the Israeli officials to attend Zurabishvili’s swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 16, noted the “deep and long friendship” between the two countries before saying that Jerusalem wanted to see Georgia move its embassy to Israel’s capital of Jerusalem.

The French-born Zurabishvili, 66, is the first woman to be elected as Georgia’s president. She will serve a term of six years.

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Hotovely also met with Georgia’s Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani at the event.

Australia’s announcement over the weekend that it was formally recognizing west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but would not be moving its embassy to any part of the city for now came as a disappointment to many Israelis.

On Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country would not move its embassy to Jerusalem until there is a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Morrison said Australia would recognize eastern Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital only after a settlement has been reached on a two-state solution.

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