Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Philippines denies reports that it intends to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it...
...In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem...
... In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zechariah 12:2-3, 6, 8-9

As reported by Haaretz and DPA, December 27, 2017:

The Philippines is not moving its embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the country's foreign minister said, denying reports that it was among ten nations planning the transfer.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Israel never even asked the Philippine government to consider such a move.

"We have communicated clearly to all our friends in the Middle East that there hasn't been any discussion or move to move our embassy from Tel Aviv," he told Manila television network GMA News on Tuesday.

On Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that Israel is talking with more than 10 countries about potentially moving their respective embassies to Jerusalem following Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’s announcement that he would move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

Hotovely told Haaretz that these discussions are initially focusing on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, rather than on immediately moving the embassies. On December 7, U.S. President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, adding that the U.S. embassy would be eventually be moved there from Tel Aviv.

Cayetano noted that the Philippine government supports a two-state solution and was willing to play a role as peacemaker in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We are for peaceful resolution of conflict," he said. "In diplomacy, unless there is an urgent situation, you don't just take a blind giant leap. You study all of these. There's going to be a balancing act."

An Israeli public broadcaster said ten countries, including the Philippines, Romania and South Sudan, were considering transferring their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem after talks with Israel.

The move would in effect recognize the disputed city as Israel's capital.

Last week, the Philippines was among 35 countries that abstained from a United Nations vote on US President Donald Trump's decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.  

Millions of Filipinos work and live in the Middle East, and the Philippine government has stressed their welfare was a key factor in determining its foreign policy.

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