Suriname returns to building embassy in Jerusalem | News

The Latin American country had said it does not have the resources to build the controversial embassy.

Suriname’s president has backtracked on a controversial pledge to build an embassy in Jerusalem, citing budget constraints.

The South American country is said to have followed the United States, Honduras, Guatemala and Kosovo by establishing its embassy in Jerusalem, decisions that have infuriated Palestinians, who have long regarded occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Suriname’s president, Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi, told the National Assembly on Thursday that the country did not have the money to build the embassy.

“There is no budget for setting up an embassy of Suriname in Israel,” the president said.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War and considers the entire city, including the annexed part, its capital. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is largely unrecognized by the international community.

Suriname appointed a non-resident ambassador, Stevanus Noordzee, to Israel in March.

Santokhi said that North Sea “will continue to serve, support and give substance to the cooperative relationship from Suriname”.

Santokhi did not rule out the future establishment of an embassy in Israel, but said the country should “receive a report” [from the foreign minister] and see what the findings and recommendations are, and take next steps based on that”.

Contrary to international consensus, former US President Donald Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and moved the country’s embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018.

The administration of President Joe Biden has said it has no plans to move the embassy back to its previous location in Tel Aviv, where most countries have their embassies.

Suriname, which has a small Jewish community, has about 14 percent Muslim population.

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