Benjamin Netanyahu with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Jerusalem earlier this month. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced today that his Bulgarian counterpart Bokyo Borisov has told him of plans to open an honorary consulate in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, per a report in Israeli news website The Times of Israel.

After the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem in May, Israel called on other countries to do the same. In the days after, a number of countries indicated that they were considering such plans. So far, Guatemala and Paraguay have moved their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem, and the Czech Republic has reopened an honorary consulate in the city. Several other countries, including Romania and Bulgaria, have expressed interested in a similar relocation.

“Yesterday I was talking with my friend, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and he announced the decision after a visit to Israel, to open an honorary consulate of their country in Jerusalem. I told him: ‘I hope this is the first step to opening an Embassy’,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting.

“After Boyko Borisov visited here a few days ago, he decided to open an honorary Consulate here in Jerusalem. He took care to explain to me in our conversation that the Consulate will not only Bulgarian Affairs in Jerusalem, but also Bulgarian issues throughout Israel,” said Netanyahu.

Earlier this month, Borisov visited Israel and met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. During that meeting, he expressed sympathy with Israel’s desire to see the international community openly recognize Jerusalem as its capital.

Although he stressed that Bulgaria will not move its embassy to Jerusalem until a long-term peace agreement is signed, he has demonstrated a willingness to recognize Jerusalem’s status. While in Israel, he attended the American Jewish Committee Global Forum, where he described Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people.

“We are convinced that the Jewish people’s relation to Jerusalem is indisputable and are not indifferent to the wish of the Jewish population of Israel and of the Jewry in the world and to the right of Israel, being a sovereign state, to decide which city will be its capital and to insist that it be internationally recognized,” Borisov said at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum, which took place in June for the first time in Jerusalem.

 

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