Nigeria denies backing relocation of US Embassy to Jerusalem

May 15th, 2018

By Chesa Chesa

The Presidency has refuted media reports that Nigeria was present at an event where the United States (US) officially relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday.

A source in the Presidency told journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that the Federal Government had written to a foreign medium, Al Jazeera, demanding a retraction of its story that listed Nigeria as one of the countries represented at the event.

The protest letter follows response to a query issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, to the Nigerian Ambassador to Israel to explain his presence at the event, as stated in the media report.

According to the source, “based on that report, the minister queried the ambassador to explain why he attended the event. The ambassador has since replied that he was not at the event. It was on the strength of the ambassador’s response that the Federal Government wrote to Al Jazeera to retract its story.”

The US had on Monday officially relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a deeply controversial move that angered Palestinians and drew widespread regional condemnation.

The ceremony took place amid road closures and heavy police presence in anticipation of Palestinian protests, as well as deadly demonstrations in Gaza calling for the refugees’ right to return to the homes they were forcibly expelled from 70 years ago.

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