Philippines ‘will not move its embassy to Jerusalem’

The reports claimed that, along with the Philippines, other were countries also planning to move their embassies to Jerusalem. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Philippines ‘will not move its embassy to Jerusalem’

MANILA: The Philippines on Wednesday denied reports it is considering moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In a message sent to Arab News, Robespierre Bolivar, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson, said that the Philippines supported the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The Philippines has always supported the policy of two states for two peoples as a long-term solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, consistent with our vote in favor of the Partition Plan for Palestine in the United Nations in 1947,” Bolivar said.
Reports from Israel earlier this month claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte had sent a message that he intended to move the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This was after US President Donald Trump publicly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced plans to move the US Embassy there.
The reports claimed that, along with the Philippines, other were countries also planning to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
However, when asked to confirm reports about the alleged move of the Philippine embassy to Jerusalem, Bolivar reiterated the country’s support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The Philippines was among 33 countries, and the only Asian nation, that voted in favor of United Nations Resolution 181 in November 1947. The resolution called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, “with the city of Jerusalem as a ‘separate entity’ to be governed by a special international regime.”


Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

Updated 21 June 2018
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Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

TOKYO: Japan has halted evacuation drills simulating a North Korean missile attack in the wake of historic talks between Washington and Pyongyang, local media reported Thursday.
Government officials did not immediately confirm the reports, but authorities in one town said they were suspending a drill planned for next week on orders from Tokyo.
The decision comes after US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un met last week in Singapore, with the pair signing a joint document calling for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Yaita in Tochigi prefecture north of Tokyo had been planning an evacuation drill for next week involving some 800 residents including 350 school children, city official Yutaka Yanagida said.
But the city suddenly canceled all preparations late Wednesday after being instructed by the government that “drills should be postponed for the time being following a change in the environment after the US-North Korea summit,” he said.
Contacted by AFP, a Cabinet Office official said the government would announce its policy on evacuation drills on Friday, declining to comment further.
Last year, Pyongyang fired two missiles over Japan and it has splashed others into the sea near the country, sparking a mix of panic and outrage.
Earlier this year, hundreds of Tokyo residents scrambled for cover in the Japanese capital’s first evacuation drill for a military attack by Pyongyang.
North Korea has singled out Japan, a key US ally in the region, for verbal attacks, threatening to “sink” the country into the sea and to turn it into “ashes.”
But the regional mood has turned toward diplomacy since the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea, which set off a series of diplomatic moves culminating in the Trump-Kim meet.