Jerusalem. No more embassies
Photo: Yaakov Saar, GPO
Costa Rica Embassy. Also leaving
Photo: Sebastian Scheiner
El Salvador will move its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, in a move bound to upset Israel and please Arab nations.
El Salvador would have been the only country in the world left with an embassy in Jerusalem after neighboring Costa Rica announced on August 16 it would pull its diplomatic mission out of the city.
A US ally which has a small contingent of troops in Iraq, El Salvador is governed by conservative President Tony Saca, who is of Palestinian Christian descent.
"Considering the current situation in the Middle East, El Salvador has decided to move its diplomatic representation in the state of Israel," The ministry said in a statement.
Israel regards East Jerusalem as part of its "undivided and eternal capital." It captured the eastern part of Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally.
The 200,000 Arab residents of East Jerusalem are caught between Israel and an emerging Palestinian state which wants the eastern part of Jerusalem as its future capital.
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner, said earlier this month he made the decision to change the embassy's location to win more friends in the Middle East and comply with UN resolutions.