Honduras to consider returning Israeli embassy to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem

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TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras is considering moving its embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv, a year after moving it to Jerusalem, according to the Honduran foreign ministry.

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, a conservative who considered himself a close Washington ally, moved Honduras's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2021.

The United States had moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, reversing decades of U.S. policy.

Hernandez was extradited to the United States earlier this year on charges of drug trafficking.

His successor, leftist Xiomara Castro, took office in January.

"The issue of moving the embassy to Tel Aviv has already been discussed with President (Castro) and is a topic of interest to her, as well as maintaining a balanced relationship with the other Arab countries and Israel," Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Reina said in a statement.

Israel, which annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war, considers all of Jerusalem its capital, while most countries consider east Jerusalem to be occupied territory. The United States, Honduras, Guatemala and Kosovo are the only countries with embassies in Jerusalem; other countries have them in Tel Aviv.

Reina discussed the issue in a meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Sunday in Bogota, where they were visiting for the inauguration ceremony of Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

The decision to return the embassy to Tel Aviv could be made "with the aim of returning respect for the norms of international law demanded by the United Nations," Reina said in the statement.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Peter Graff)