JERUSALEM (Apr. 15)
El Salvador became the second country, after Costa Rica, to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said El Salvador’s move on Friday was timed to coincide with a ceremony in San Salvador at which the new Israeli Ambassador to El Salvador would present his credentials. The spokesman recalled that the Israeli Embassy was closed about five years ago after it was attacked by rebel forces.
At a ceremony in Jerusalem on Friday, Ambassador Napolean Armando Guerra of El Salvador, said that his country’s decision to move its Embassy to Jerusalem was based “in the human and spiritual values which characterize Israel, which is considered like the countries of Latin America, a country that esteems democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity.” He also said, according to Israel Radio, “I can promise with candor and honesty that the reasons (for moving the Embassy) were not mainly founded in material values.”
(In Washington, the State Department said Friday that the United States had not “encouraged” El Salvador to move its Embassy to Jerusalem. Department spokesman John Hughes said it was entirely between the governments of Israel and El Salvador. Hughes said there was “no dilution” in the U.S. position on its own Embassy in Israel. The Reagan Administration has strongly opposed the effort now in Congress to force the Administration to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.)
El Salvador was among 13 countries to move their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in 1980 to protest the enactment of the Jerusalem Law, which formally declared Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalm and affirmed the city as the nation’s united capital.
Yisrael Gur-Aryeh, a deputy director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said Friday at the ceremony that Israel “hopes and is working for more embassies to continue the path of Costa Rica and El Salvador and return to Jerusalem, our eternal city.”