February 3, 2020 / 3:18 PM / 18 days ago

Israeli PM hopes Uganda will open embassy in Jerusalem in 'near future'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Pool

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda is “studying” the possibility of opening an embassy in Jerusalem, President Yoweri Museveni said on Monday, during a visit from long-standing ally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Such a move would be seen internationally as a statement of support for Israel’s claim for the city of Jerusalem to be its capital, a potential political win for Netanyahu less than a month before March 2 national elections.

“If a friend says I want your embassy here rather than there I don’t see why there would be ...,” Museveni said before trailing off and continuing: “we are really working, we’re studying that.”

“You open an embassy in Jerusalem and I will open an embassy in Kampala,” promised Netanyahu. “We hope to do this in the near future.”

Palestinians claim East Jerusalem — captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war — for their own capital. But a peace plan presented last week by U.S. President Donald Trump envisaged a Palestinian capital outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits.

The Palestinian leadership rejected the plan and cut all ties with the United States and Israel, including those relating to security, on Saturday.

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Jon Boyle, William Maclean

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