Vietnam did not attend gala to celebrate US embassy move to Jerusalem: foreign ministry

By Khanh Lynh   May 14, 2018 | 08:32 am PT
Vietnam did not attend gala to celebrate US embassy move to Jerusalem: foreign ministry
The U.S. officially opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Monday. Photo by AFP
The gala on Sunday was reported to be attended by 32 countries including Vietnam by an Israeli newspaper.

Vietnam has dismissed claims that it participated in a gala hosted by Israel to celebrate the opening of a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

"Vietnam did not have any representative attending this reception as reported by some newspapers," the country's foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz earlier on Monday reported that Vietnam was among the 32 countries that participated in the gala on Sunday. However, over 50 countries, including most members of the European Union, boycotted the event.

The controversial gala was held ahead of the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. The embassy move will fulfill a pledge by U.S. President Donald Trump who last December recognized the holy city as the Israeli capital.

The move, however, has sparked outrage among Palestinians and has been condemned by many countries. Vietnam has also expressed concerns at the decision, which it claims will negatively affect peace and stability in the Middle East.

As a country with friendly relations with both Israel and Palestine, Vietnam supports the two-state solution, in which an independent State of Palestine peacefully coexists with the State of Israel based on the 1967 borders, Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said.

Hang said any solution regarding the status of Jerusalem must be in accordance with international laws, especially the United Nations resolutions, and must have the consensus of all related parties.

Vietnam was among the 128 countries that backed a non-binding U.N. General Assembly resolution, calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem.

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state in the two-state solution, which would be established in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel, however, regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed, as its “eternal and indivisible capital” in a move that has not won international recognition.

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