El Salvador to Return Its Embassy to Jerusalem

The Embassy of El Salvador will return shortly to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Israel was notified yesterday by Salvadoran officials now visiting here. The announcement was made in two separate meetings held by Premier Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir with Francisco Jose Guerraro, Minister of Information, and Jose Mauel Pachas Castro, Finance Minister. Also at the meeting with Shamir was Ernesto Magana, the son of President Alvaro Magana.

The Salvadoran officials said preparations are under way to move the Embassy back to Jerusalem no later than September 15, El Salvador’s Independence Day. El Salvador is the second Latin American country after Costa Rica to return its Embassy to Jerusalem. All embassies in Jerusalem moved to Tel Aviv in 1980 after the Knesset adopted the Jerusalem Law, declaring all of Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.

Ever since Israel signed an agreement with Lebanon last May to withdraw its forces from that country, but only on condition that the estimated 40,000 Syrian soldiers and 8,000 Palestinian forces left as well, Israel has been asking Latin American countries to move their embassies back to Jerusalem. Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said today that they now have reason to believe that other Latin American countries would follow El Salvador’s move.

At the meeting with the Salvadoran officials, Shamir said that country’s decision was “good news and an important step, expressing not only friendship but also historic justice.” Shamir told his guests he was certain their decision would have worldwide impact. It would be recognized with gratitude by millions of Jews and friends of Israel throughout the world, Shamir said.

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