Papua New Guinea on Tuesday became the fifth nation to move its embassy to Israel’s official capital, Jerusalem. During the inauguration of the mission, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said the move was made necessary by his people’s Christian faith.
“As Christians, paying respect to God would not be complete without recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” said Marape during a press conference in the Israeli capital.
Of course, the small Pacific nation sees benefits beyond the spiritual in drawing closer to Israel.
Standing beside Marape, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hope that the move would result in increased Israeli tourism to and investment in Papua New Guinea.
“Hopefully, one of those tourists will be me,” he added.
The Papua New Guinea Israel Jewish Council, which was also represented at the inauguration, has identified closer relations with Israel as “essential” to their nation’s economic development.
The new embassy is located in the tall office tower adjacent to the Malcha Mall in the south of Jerusalem.
The other four nations that have their embassies in Jerusalem at present are: the United States, Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo.
Paraguay and Sierra Leone have already announced their upcoming move to Jerusalem, while Hungary and Fiji are expected to follow suit by the end of the year.
For decades foreign nations feared that placing their embassies in Israel’s declared capital of Jerusalem would upset the Arab Muslim world, which claims the eastern half of the city as the capital of a fictitious “Palestinian” state.
Former US President Donald Trump shattered that myth when he defied doomsday predictions and moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, exposing many foreign policy “experts” as nothing more than uninformed fear-mongers.
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