The state of Hungary has inaugurated a branch of its embassy in Jerusalem, in what was hailed as ‘a first significant step that will lead to the relocation of its diplomatic mission to the Israeli capital.’ Among several dignitaries attending the ceremony, including U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto toured the facility, which will serve as Budapest’s diplomatic trade mission to Jerusalem. After cutting the ribbon at the mission’s entrance, and unveiling the plaque, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed Israel’s excitement over the Hungarian move. “This is a very exciting moment for us because it’s the first European diplomatic mission opened in Jerusalem in many decades and three Hungarian diplomats are going to be assigned to this office for trade purposes. That’s important for trade, for diplomacy and for the move that Hungary is leading right now to change the attitude in Europe towards Jerusalem. This has already been done by President Trump in his historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the American embassy here. And there’s a plot waiting for you right next to the American embassy,” Netanyahu said.
The Hungarian top diplomat, on his part, emphasized his country’s growing friendship with the Jewish state, and pledged to continue to battle the apparent global injustice of the international community towards Israel. He further noted that Budapest has rejected the boycott of Israeli trade goods from West Bank settlements, while urging to advance a tighter, better and more dynamic cooperation between Israel and the European Union. According to the Hungarian Foreign Minister: “We have always fought for a fair and balanced approach on behalf of the international community towards Israel. I have to underline here once again that we reject to combine restrictive economic and commercial measures with political issues. We will not apply the decision of the European Commission on labeling. We do not support the list of companies in the settlements to be announced by the high representative of Human Rights of the United Nations and we urge for a tighter, better and more dynamic cooperation between Israel and the European Union.”