LONDON (Dispatches) – Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, has called on Prime Minister Liz Truss to reconsider her intention to explore moving the UK’s embassy in the Israeli-occupied territories from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds.
Nichols, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said he had written to the prime minister to express his “profound concern” over the review of the embassy location.
It comes a day after the UK’s Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party told Middle East Eye they opposed the move and would campaign against it.
“Such a relocation of the UK embassy would be seriously damaging to any possibility of lasting peace in the region and to the international reputation of the United Kingdom,” Nichols said in a statement on Thursday.
The cardinal added that Pope Francis and leaders of churches in the occupied territories had “long called for the international status quo on Al-Quds to be upheld, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions”.
“I can see no valid reason why a move needs now to be considered. I ask the Prime Minister earnestly to reconsider the intention she has expressed.”
An embassy move to Al-Quds would reverse decades of British policy. The UK has long maintained its diplomatic mission in Tel Aviv - even after the Zionist regime declared Al-Quds as its capital - as part of a longstanding policy that the city’s final status should be decided following negotiations.
In 1967, the regime occupied and annexed the eastern part of the city of Al-Quds, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state, in a move that has never been recognized by the international community or international law.
If the British embassy were to be moved, Truss would be following in the footsteps of former U.S. president Donald Trump, who, in defiance of international law, moved the U.S. embassy to Al-Quds in 2017, a move that is taken as formal recognition of the Zionist regime’s sovereignty over the city.