Malawi to open embassy to Jerusalem, Dominican Republic considering move

Ron Cantor —  November 6, 2020 — Leave a comment

During a visit to Israel on Tuesday, Malawi Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka said his country will open an embassy in Jerusalem by next summer.

That would make Malawi the first of an African country. Currently, the majority Christian nation does not have an embassy at all in Israel.

“This important statement testifies to the depth of relations between Israel and Malawi, and will lead to their continued strengthening of the cordial relations between the two nations,” said a statement from the two countries.

The Dominican Republic said it is considering moving its embassy back to Jerusalem at the request of the local Jewish community. Israel welcomed the country’s announcement on Friday while Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi expressed gratitude to his Dominican Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez Gil.

“I thanked him during our phone call yesterday for this important decision and for the many years of friendship between our two countries,” Ashkenazi wrote on Twitter.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Dominican people’s ties with the Jewish people date back to the 15th century, when the first immigrants from Spain arrived on the island.

“This process continued at the end of the 19th century with the Jewish migratory waves coming from the Dutch islands of the Caribbean. At the dawn of the Second World War, at the Evian Conference, the Dominican Republic opened its borders and welcomed several thousand European Jewish refugees,” according to the statement.

The Dominican Republic noted that it had an embassy in Jerusalem until 1980. The new Dominican President Luis Abinader is the grandson of Lebanese immigrants and has spoken positively of the Caribbean nation’s connection with the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump was the first to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem in 2018. Currently only the United States and Guatemala have embassies in Jerusalem while Honduras said it would move by the end of this year. Brazil, Serbia and Kosovo are also considering a move.