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Ivory Coast Opens Jerusalem Embassy

United Press International

The Ivory Coast’s new ambassador to Israel took up his post Tuesday, making his country the first African state and the third nation to open an embassy in Jerusalem.

In a red-carpet ceremony at the presidential residence, Ambassador Jean Pierre Boni presented his credentials to President Chaim Herzog, and a police orchestra played the national anthems of Israel and the Ivory Coast.

The ceremony came seven months after Israel and the Ivory Coast renewed diplomatic relations following a 13-year break. The other two countries that have embassies in Jerusalem are Costa Rica and Honduras.

Most countries have established embassies in Tel Aviv to avoid disputes over the status of Jerusalem. Israel declared Jewish West Jerusalem as its capital when the Jewish state was founded in 1948.

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During the 1967 Middle East War, Israel captured the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem from Jordan. In 1981, Israel passed a law announcing that its capital was in “unified” Jerusalem--a move not recognized by much of the world.


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