The Oceana nation of Papua New Guinea will open its first embassy in Israel in Jerusalem this year, Israel’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday.

The Christian island nation of some 9 million inhabitants will become one of only a handful of countries to have embassies in the Israeli capital following the landmark move by the U.S. under President Donald Trump.

The move was agreed upon during a phone conversation between Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his Papua New Guinea counterpart Justin Tkatchenko.

The two men also discussed expanding bilateral economic relations, especially in the field of advanced agriculture. Tkatchenko promised that his government would continue its support for Israel in the international arena, the Foreign Ministry statement said.

“I would like to thank Papua New Guinea for the courageous ties, their overwhelming support in international institutions, and their decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem,” Cohen said in a statement. “This is further evidence of the warm and important relationship between the countries.”

He pledged to work to encourage other countries to open or relocate their embassies in the capital.

The U.S., Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo maintain their Israel embassies in Jerusalem.


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