Fewer than half of the foreign leaders invited to the US embassy relocation ceremony in Jerusalem have actually accepted the invitation.
Some 30 foreign diplomats accepted the invitation to the US embassy’s opening ceremony in Jerusalem, scheduled for Sunday. The invitation was issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to diplomats from 86 foreign states. Four days before the ceremony, fewer than half of the recipients have RSVP’ed as “going.”
“At the moment 30 of 86 ambassadors have responded positively [to the invitation]. A large number of ambassadors have yet to respond. We hope all the ambassadors will arrive,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said May 9, according to the Times of Israel.
Twelve countries have already said they refused the invitation, either due to timing or other conflicts or out of principle, according to Haaretz. Among those to refuse are Australia, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
Interestingly, three states commonly perceived as opposing the embassy move — Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria — accepted the invitation. Two countries who are seen as friendly to Israeli government policy — Romania and Austria — have yet to announce their decision.
The Foreign Ministry event will be attended by US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump; her husband, fellow presidential adviser Jared Kushner; US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and other elected US officials.
On May 9, Hadashot TV reported that a number of EU states, including the UK, France and Germany, are going to boycott the event.
“It is a little strange to invite us to celebrate an event that we opposed and condemned. The Americans were more clever and knew in advance not to invite us to save themselves from embarrassment,” the network quoted a diplomatic source as saying.
The ceremony will take place the evening before the day the new US embassy officially opens. Some 800 guests have been invited to the opening, including “religious and business leaders, journalists, academics and government representatives from the United States. We have also invited several Israeli government representatives and political leaders to attend. Given that the focus of the event is on US-Israeli relations, we did not extend an invitation to the foreign diplomatic corps,” the official told the Times of Israel.