Published: 21:09, February 7, 2024 | Updated: 21:09, February 7, 2024
Argentine President Milei to relocate embassy to Jerusalem
By Xinhua

Argentine President Javier Milei touches the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City, Feb 6, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

JERUSALEM — Argentinian President Javier Milei, on his first official visit to Israel, pledged on Wednesday to relocate his country's embassy to Jerusalem.

Milei made the announcement during a meeting here with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a video footage released by Netanyahu's office. No specific date has been provided for the relocation.

Milei, who has strongly backed Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza, said during the meeting that his country will designate Hamas as a "terrorist organization"

Netanyahu thanked Milei for his decision, addressing him as "a great friend" of Israel.

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Milei, who has strongly backed Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza, said during the meeting that his country will designate Hamas as a "terrorist organization."

The right-wing libertarian politician, who assumed office in December last year, arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a three-day visit before proceeding to Italy. His visit to Israel includes meetings with rabbis, a tour of the Western Wall in annexed East Jerusalem, a visit to southern Israel to commemorate the October 7 Hamas attack, and a meeting with the country's ceremonial president, Isaac Herzog.

Only a handful of countries have moved their embassies to Jerusalem. They followed the lead of then-US President Donald Trump, who moved the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.

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Israel seized East Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East war. It subsequently annexed East Jerusalem, claiming it as part of its "indivisible capital." However, the annexation has never been recognized by the majority of the international community because the Palestinians consider East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.