Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid inaugurated the Honduran Embassy in Jerusalem – the fourth embassy of a foreign country in Jerusalem following the US.
The three met at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem and signed a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, which relates to programs and projects in the fields of agriculture, water management, health, education and information sharing for innovation development. In addition, an agreement was signed to employ spouses of diplomatic, administrative, consular and technical representatives of diplomatic missions that will allow them to obtain a work permit to work outside the embassy.
From the Prime Minister’s Office, they all went to the offices of the new embassy in the Jerusalem Technological Park, which also hosts the Guatemala Embassy. This is the first political meeting that Prime Minister Bennett has had with a foreign leader since he took office.
Bennett said in statements to the media:
“Welcome to our eternal capital, Jerusalem. Your arrival at the Honduran Embassy in Jerusalem, the reopening of the Israel Embassy in Tegucigalpa and the cooperation agreements we will sign now, are another display of the deep friendship and deep connection between the Jewish state, the State of Israel, and the Honduran people and state under your leadership. Mr. President, you are a true friend of Israel. The Jewish people have a long memory, and you will be recorded in the pages of history as someone who acted with courage and did the right thing for the State of Israel. Thank you.”
According to Bennett, under Hernandez’s leadership, “Honduras consistently stands with Israel in international institutions when it is not always popular, and sometimes it also involves paying a price. This is evidence of true friendship – the willingness to take actions that include paying a price. I want to thank you and the people of Honduras for that support which we saw recently in Operation Guardian of the Walls during which the Hamas terrorist organization fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, using the Gazan residents – women, children and adults – as human shields, in a cynical way.”
On his way to the new embassy, President Hernandez stopped for a visit to the Western Wall where he said:
“Exactly this month, 30 years ago, I was here for the first time as a participant in the Mashav agricultural training course (Mashav is Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and it left a great impact on me to see this people who have suffered so much, become a flourishing enterprise. Since then, I have been connected to Israel and everything that is happening here. Today, I note a closure after 30 years, of returning to Israel and moving the embassy to Jerusalem.”
President Reuven Rivlin also held a political working meeting with President Hernandez. At the beginning of his remarks, Rivlin congratulated him: “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening the embassy in Jerusalem. This step is of practical importance, but also greatly symbolic. As a Jerusalemite, a seventh generation Jerusalemite, I am especially excited to see more and more countries following in your footsteps, and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. So it was, and so it will be.”
“Mr. President,” Rivlin continued, “as a graduate of the Mashav International Agricultural Training Center, you already know Israel well and our willingness to cooperate with our friends, and to share our knowledge and technology in the face of common challenges. I have no doubt that under your leadership, relations between the countries will deepen and with them our cooperation. On behalf of all the people of Israel, I thank you for your deep friendship and for the standing up of the people of Honduras with the people of Israel.”
Israel has already opened a new embassy in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. On Sunday, the government approved the appointment of Eldad Golan Rosenberg as the Israeli ambassador to the country.