Honduras is beginning the process of moving its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In 2017, the country’s government indicated that it was open to the idea of an embassy move following the United States and Guatemala shifting on this position. Paraguay initially joined the three countries, but later backed out due to a new government coming to power.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the inauguration in Brasilia of new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, a right-wing conservative, has vowed to shutter the Palestinian representative office in Brasilia, stating that “Palestine is not a country–we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” He also pledge to move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and pursue closer ties with the Jewish state.
In Brazil, Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Hernandez requested a closer relationship with the Trump Administration, as well as closer ties with Israel. In exchange for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, Hernandez asked for Israel to open an embassy in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, as well as assist Honduras with cyber-security, water & agricultural technology, and law enforcement training. Netanyahu and Pompeo agreed with Tegucigalpa’s requests. Netanyahu also agreed to open Israeli markets to Honduran coffee exports.
Last month, Sara Netanyahu, the Israeli First Lady, spoke over the phone with Hernandez during a visit to Guatemala. She and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales pressed Honduras on the embassy move. Just a few weeks later, a delegation from Honduras attended a meeting with Israeli government officials to discuss the matter and expanding ties more generally.