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Officials: Czech embassy to remain in Tel Aviv

Oct. 9, 2013 6:34 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 10, 2013 11:59 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Officials in the Czech republic have denied that the country has plans to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

PLO executive committee member Nabil Shaath said in a statement that he had held talks with Czech officials and confirmed that the embassy in Israel would not be moved to Jerusalem.

Both the Czech premier and foreign minister reaffirmed that the country had no plans to move its embassy or to change its attitude toward UN resolutions and EU positions regarding Jerusalem, Shaath said.

Anwar Abdul-Hani, head of the PLO’s political department, said in a separate statement that he met Wednesday morning in Syria with the Czech ambassador in Damascus, Eva Filipi.

“The remarks by the Czech president on this issue have been misinterpreted,” Filipi was quoted as saying, adding that the country would determine “the location of its embassy after a final solution is reached.”

Filipi also said that the country supported “the two-state solution and the Palestinian people’s right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” according to the statement.

Days earlier, the official Czech news agency CTK quoted Czech president Milos Zeman as saying that he might move the Czech embassy to Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

In a letter to Zeman on Saturday, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat urged the president to reconsider, saying that such an action would be a “diplomatic recognition of the Israeli occupation” and “flagrant violation of international law.”

Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed it in 1980 in a move never recognized abroad.
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