President Yoweri Museveni has affirmed that Uganda is seriously considering the proposal of building its embassy in Jerusalem.
The President said in a joint Press Conference with Israeli Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu at State House Entebbe, that the sour relations between Israel and Palestine would not affect Uganda’s plans.
“The issue of the embassy, we are discussing it,” he said.
“The good thing with all the controversies is that there is a part on Jerusalem which under the partition plan was in Israel. At least that is not part of the argument.”
The move by Uganda to set up an embassy in Jerusalem rather than the Capital Tel Aviv could be considered controversial since the city of Jerusalem is claimed both by Israel and Palestine, and contains sites sacred to both Jews and Muslims
It is also likely to anger the Palestinian community, which has many investments in Uganda.
Museveni was responding to PM Netanyahu, who directly asked the president at the press conference to build an embassy in Jerusalem
“I have a simple suggestion that you’ll have to consider Mr President my friend,” he said. “You open an embassy in Jerusalem and I’ll open an embassy in Kampala.”
If Uganda, follows through on President Museveni’s promise, it will be following in the footsteps of the United States under President Donald Trump, who in 2018 moved the US embassy from the Israeli capital Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, amid international backlash.
The move was widely criticized as some countries including South Africa, recalled their envoys from Israel in protest.
Meanwhile during the press conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu asked his Ugandan counterpart to consider having direct flights between Uganda and Israel.
“We want direct flights because that will enable our friendship to thrive,” Netanyahu said.
This suggestion too was welcomed by President Museveni, who proposed that the Israeli national carrier, El Al should consider including Uganda on its destinations.
“I would invite El Al to fly direct to Uganda from Israel; even if it is once a week it will be good enough,” he said.