JERUSALEM (AA) – The Ukrainian ambassador in Tel Aviv has said his country could recognize Jerusalem as Israel's “one and only capital" soon and establish its mission branch in the holy city early next year, Israeli media reported on Friday.
Yevgen Korniychuk made the remarks at an event in Jerusalem marking 30 years of Israeli-Ukrainian relations, according to the Times of Israel.
“Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a matter of months, not years,” the media outlet quoted Korniychuk as saying.
However, the diplomat outlined “certain preconditions in the security and defense relationship between the countries” for the recognition of Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.
His comments came after Israeli Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin expressed hope at the event that Ukraine would open a branch of its embassy in Jerusalem.
“As soon as I get permission, I will do it immediately,” Korniychuk said.
The Ukrainian ambassador stated that his country hopes to open a branch of its embassy in Jerusalem next year, during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's anticipated visit.
So far, the US and Guatemala are the only countries to have relocated their embassies to Jerusalem.
In December 2017, then-US President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital and later moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reversing decades of US policy of remaining neutral on the holy city.
The US move triggered widespread protests in the Palestinian territories and several countries amid condemnations from Arab and Muslim countries.
Washington’s European allies have also criticized the move, warning that the US decision would worsen relations between Palestinians and Israelis as well as spark unrest in the region.
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar