The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has denied reports that discussions were held to move the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“There has been no recent discussion, whether among relevant government agencies, or bilaterally with Israel or with any other country, on the location of the Philippine Embassy in Israel,” said DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar today (Wednesday, December 27).
On Tuesday, reports said Israel was in touch with “at least 10 countries” over the possible transfer of their embassies to Jerusalem in line with the United States recognising it as the capital of Israel.
While Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely did not name the foreign governments, Agence France Presse quoted public radio citing Israeli diplomatic sources that Honduras, the Philippines, Romania, and South Sudan were among states considering such a move.
“Any decision on the location of our Embassy will be based firmly on our national interest and our long-standing support for peace in the Middle East,” the DFA clarified.
It also explained that the country’s vote to abstain on resolution ES-10/18 on the “Status of Jerusalem” before a United Nations General Assembly is in support of the implementation of UN initiatives aimed at the peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict.
“The Philippines puts a premium on peace and the peaceful resolution of disputes,” it said.
“Our Constitution clearly states that the country renounces war as an instrument of national policy and will strive to maintain friendly relations with all countries.”
“It is in consideration of this principle that the Philippines has always supported the policy of two states for two peoples as a long-term solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” it added.
The DFA said the government is willing to play its part in brokering peace in the region.