Israel/Palestine: UK officials to attend meetings at US embassy in Jerusalem despite London opposition to mission relocation

British diplomats and officials will attend meetings with American counterparts in the US mission recently transferred to the disputed city of Jerusalem despite London’s opposition to President Donald Trump over relocation of the mission from Tel Aviv to the Holy city.

The United Kingdom, France, Germany and much of the international diplomatic corps boycotted the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14. London, Paris and Berlin have rejected President Trump’s December decision announcing the relocation of the mission from Tel Aviv.

Besides Arab and Islamic countries, Western powers and much of the international community slammed the decision, which jeopardizes the peace process and impedes the international consensus over the fate of the old city.

UK Middle East Minister Alistair Burt told last week, three days after the much criticized US diplomatic move, members of the British-Palestinian Policy Council that British officials and diplomats will be attending meetings in the building, Middle East Monitor (MEE) reports.

“When we asked him to confirm [that] UK officials would not attend meetings at the embassy going forward, as the UK does not recognize it, he was very clear that they would attend,” one source told the London-based media.

Burt’s remarks appeared to have been confirmed by the Foreign Office, which according to MEE, indicated that diplomats and other representatives will attend meetings at the embassy.

UK’s stance on the embassy relocation and at the same its decision to attend meetings at the facility puzzles politicians in the British-Palestinian Policy Council. London criticized Israel for the killing of over 60 Palestinians in a protest near the Gaza border with Israel in response to the US controversial move.

Kamel Hawwash, vice chair of the British-Palestinian Policy Council told MEE that the council was stunned by the decision.

Kamel regretted the hypocrisy of the British government.

Friday, UK abstained during a United Nations Human Rights Council vote on a resolution to assign international war crimes investigators to probe the massacre of Palestinian protestors.

The resolution was passed with 29 countries in favor. Other member countries abstained and only the US and Australia voted against it.

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