Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed the decision by the Bulgarian government to upgrade the honorary consulate in Jerusalem, saying that he hoped it would “quickly lead” to Bulgaria moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
Speaking on June 24 at a regular Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the night before, he had spoken to his Bulgaria counterpart Boiko Borissov.
“He decided – after having visited here several days previously – as a first step, to open an honorary consulate here in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said.
“He made the effort to explain to me, in our conversation, that this consul will not deal only with Bulgarian affairs in Jerusalem, but with Bulgarian affairs in the entire State of Israel. I told him that this was a welcome step and that I hoped it will quickly lead to the opening of the official and complete Bulgarian Embassy in Jerusalem,” the Israeli Prime Minister said, according to a transcript on the Israeli Foreign Ministry website.
The decision of the Bulgarian government was announced after a regular Cabinet meeting on June 20.
The Bulgarian government statement noted that the honorary consul of Bulgaria in Israel for the past 11 years was Moni Leon Bar, who actively supported the Bulgarian embassy in Israel.
The statement said that the upgrade of the honorary consulate would take effect as soon as the Israeli Foreign Ministry had been notified via diplomatic channels.
During his June 2018 visit to Israel, Borissov told the American Jewish Committee Global Forum 2018 that his country would not move its embassy to Jerusalem.
“The status of Jerusalem as the sacred site of the three monotheistic religions should be agreed in the course of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that will lead to an accord on final status of the Palestinian territories,” Borissov told the forum.