The fruit of a decision that shone a spotlight on Costa Rican-Israeli relations earlier this year was born Friday when the Costa Rican Embassy opened in Tel Aviv after operating in Jerusalem for 24 years, the Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.
The Tel Aviv embassy is up and running from its headquarters onAbba Hillel Silver Street
; those who wish to contact the embassy can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Oscar Arias announced the decision to relocate the embassy in August after more than a month of fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon (TT, Aug. 18). At the time, Costa Rica and El Salvador were the only two embassies in the world located in Jerusalem, a city long at the center of bitter disputes among religious groups. El Salvador later announced plans to move its embassy out of Jerusalem as well.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno explained the decision as an effort to respect the United Nations, which since 1980 had called for its member nations to move their embassies out of Jerusalem.
The move is also an effort to promote quality and efficiency at Costa Rican embassies abroad, Stagno said in the statement released Friday.
The Costa Rican Embassy was moved from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in 1980 by then-President Rodrigo Carazo and moved back to Jerusalem in 1982 by then-President Luis Alberto Monge.