Malawi Says It Will Be First African Nation to Open Embassy in Jerusalem
Malawi announced on Tuesday it would become the first African nation to open an embassy in Jerusalem.
While visiting Israel, Malawi Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka described the decision as a “bold and significant step.”
Standing next to Mkaka in Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi stated, “I look forward to your embassy opening soon, and I’m sure that more African leaders will follow this decision.”
I welcomed Malawi FM @EisenhowerMkaka to #Jerusalem this evening and thanked him for the message from President @LAZARUSCHAKWERA that Malawi is to become the 1st African country to open an embassy in Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/VLeXmiqDL4
— גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) November 3, 2020
The embassy is expected to open by next summer, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry,
Brian Banda, an aide to Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, confirmed the decision, saying, “Yes its going ahead, full embassy in Jerusalem.”
Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, although that is not recognized by many countries. Palestinians seek the city’s east, which Israel took control of from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War, as a capital of a future state.
Given the city’s disputed status and sensitivity in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most countries that have embassies in Israel have opened them in Tel Aviv.
US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and moved the US embassy there the following year.
Guatemala moved its embassy to Jerusalem soon afterward, and Honduras has said it aims to do the same by the end of 2020. Brazil and the Dominican Republican are also considering the move.