Liz Truss met Yair Lapid, the Prime Minister of Israel, at the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday. Among the things they discussed were strategic priorities, including defence, cyber security, trade and green technology. Downing Street highlighted progress on a new Free Trade Agreement and reiterated the commitment to “signing a high-ambition deal which delivers for the digital and services sectors”.
What caught Guido’s eye in the official statement was that
“The Prime Minister informed Prime Minister Lapid about her review of the current location of the British Embassy in Israel. The leaders discussed the Middle East Peace Process and regional security, stressing the need for a long-term strategy to contain the threat from Iran.”
The Foreign Office’s Arabists have long resisted moving the British embassy to Jerusalem, this however echoes Truss’s commitment made during the leadership campaign that she “would weigh moving the U.K.’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem”. She also wrote to the Conservative Friends of Israel saying she understood the “importance and sensitivity” over the location of the embassy. EU embassies are located in Tel Aviv as a matter of policy whereas the US embassy is in the capital city Jerusalem. This would be an historic realignment of foreign policy.