The US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem was largely met with criticism by the European Union, although states such as Austria, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic accepted the invitation to attend the opening ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, thereby contradicting the EU's official policy on Jerusalem’s status. According to the bloc’s course, Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and Palestine within the framework of the envisaged two-state solution to the Middles Eastern crisis.
Interestingly, Bulgaria, which had previously stated its ambassador would attend the reception in honor of the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, has reportedly given an unclear answer to the Foreign Ministry.
According to the Israeli MFA, this is the updated list of #EU countries attending tomorrow‘s reception in honor of the #USJerusalemEmbassy: Austria, Hungary, Romania & Czech Republic. Bulgaria’s answer not clear yet— Noa Landau (@noa_landau) May 12, 2018
The upcoming ceremony will be attended by US President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser, Ivanka, her husband, fellow presidential adviser Jared Kushner; US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and other US officials. In the meantime, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that the president’s decision to relocate the embassy wasn’t made as part of a “give and take” with Tel Aviv, but based on “the interests of the United States.”
With great joy, I am returning to Jerusalem. I am honored to join the distinguished delegation representing President Trump, his Administration, and the American people at this momentous ceremony commemorating the opening of our new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. We look forward to celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary and the bright future ahead. We will pray for the boundless potential of the future of the U.S.-Israel alliance, and we will pray for peace.
In December 2017, US President Donald Trump announced the decision to move the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, prompting widespread condemnation across the world and mass protests in the Middle East and beyond. Countries supporting the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the European Union, as well as Russia, have slammed the move.
In response to Trump’s announcement, European Council President Donald Tusk reaffirmed the EU’s “firm commitment” to the two-state solution, emphasizing that the bloc’s position on Jerusalem remains unchanged.