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Suriname to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem

South American republic's foreign minister Albert Ramdin told his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid of the intention during a diplomatic visit
A man draped in an Israeli flag stands before Israeli policemen along a street in the Old City of Jerusalem, 29 May 2022 (AFP)

Suriname will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the South American country's foreign minister Albert Ramdin told his counterpart Yair Lapid during a visit to Israel on Monday.

Suriname, a former Dutch colony, currently has a Tel Aviv consulate. The republic of just over half a million people will be the latest country to move its diplomatic mission to the contested city of Jerusalem.

The United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018 amid protests from the Palestinians, who regard occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Israeli forces shot dead scores of Palestinians in Gaza on the day the new embassy was inaugurated.

Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo have all followed in American footsteps and moved their embassies. They remain outliers, though, with the vast majority of states, including the United Kingdom and other European nations, keeping their embassies in Tel Aviv while operating consulates and visa offices in Jerusalem.

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The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which normalised ties with Israel in 2020, inaugurated their embassies in Tel Aviv, which is also home to the Jordanian and Egyptian diplomatic missions.

Ramdin did not specify when Suriname would relocate its mission to Jerusalem.

Lapid said on Monday that Israel would offer Suriname humanitarian assistance following severe flooding in the country's north, which devastated crops, isolated communities and closed schools and businesses last week.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move unrecognised by the majority of the international community.

Suriname achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1975. It borders Guyana and French Guiana on the northeast coast of South America.

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