Arab ambassadors in London are urging Liz Truss not to go ahead with “an illegal and ill-judged” plan to move the British embassy to Jerusalem.
Some Arab diplomats have even said the plan could jeopardise talks on a highly prized free trade deal between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council due to be completed this year.
A private letter was sent before Truss’s trip to the UN in New York, where she confirmed the review, but after the state funeral of Queen.
EU allies have told the UK they think the move is unwise and are privately speculating that Truss took the initiative not just due to her close ties with Israel but out of her desire to be noticed as a disruptive force.
It was expected that a predictable group of pro-Palestinian countries represented in London would object to the proposed embassy move, but the letter sent by the diplomats has the endorsement of all of the Arab countries, including those that support the Abraham accords signed in September 2020. The accords are designed to lead to a general warming of ties with Israel for its signatories, including Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
In the Tory leadership campaign, Truss announced in a letter to Conservative Friends of Israel that she would open a review of the location of the UK embassy, something she had not done as foreign secretary. She highlighted last week that she was instituting that review in a readout of a bilateral meeting in New York with the Israeli prime minister, Yair Lapid. No details of how the review is being conducted inside the Foreign Office have been made public.
Only four other countries have moved their embassy to Jerusalem.
Read more via The Guardian