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‘No plan to set up embassy in Jerusalem’
By Manolo B. Jara December 28, 2017
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MANILA: The Philippines has no plans to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem because such move would constitute “a blind giant leap” and that the country strongly favors “a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday stressed this stand following reports that the Philippines would follow Guatemala in moving its embassy to Jerusalem which US President Trump has recognised as the capital of Israel.

“We are for a peaceful resolution of conflict...in diplomacy unless there is an urgent solution you just don’t take a blind giant leap,” Cayetano told GMA News in an interview.

“You study all of these,” Cayetano explained. “There’s going to be a balancing act. There’s so much history and context there.”

He also pointed out that majority of the estimated 10 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) abroad have been deployed in the Middle East particularly in the Gulf countries.

As such, Cayetano said, the Philippines must show that it is “friends to all and enemies to none.”

In this light, Cayetano said the Philippines was among the 35 nations that abstained when two-thirds of the member countries of the UN overwhelmingly rejected the US announcement recognising Jerasulem as the capital of Israel.

When US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s decision, Guatemala said it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Palestine, however, denounced as “shameful.”

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