Uganda is on the verge of being the third country in the world to open an embassy in Jerusalem, potentially as soon as this week, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is anticipated to travel to Uganda on Monday, though the exact reasons for the visit remain officially unconfirmed by the Foreign Ministry.
“If a friend says I want your embassy here rather than there I don’t see why there would be [a problem],” Bible believing Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told the East African News. “We are really working, we’re studying that.”
“You open an embassy in Jerusalem and I will open an embassy in Kampala,” Netanyahu told Museveni. “We hope to do this in the near future.”
If Uganda goes through with this, they will be the third country to establish an embassy in Jerusalem following the United States, Guatemala, and Paraguay, the latter of which has since changed its mind about their embassy relocation.
"I got a note from sources that Uganda is moving the embassy," said Drake Kanaabo, a pastor who ministers at a church in the Ugandan capital city of Kampala, who had received unconfirmed rumors of the embassy being established in Jerusalem.
Kanaabo was supportive of the embassy opening "because of our past good relationship with the State of Israel.
"On a spiritual level, Uganda regards Israel as the mother of Christianity," Kanaabo continued. "Ugandan Christians are no longer standing on one leg for Israel, but two - in prayer and action. Israel is the only first-world country that is near to Uganda and Africa."
Museveni reportedly is supporting the decision based on his understanding that Jerusalem was granted to Israel in the 1947 UN Partition Plan versus being an international city, and is also supportive of the two-state solution in regards to tensions with the Palestinians.
Israel and Uganda are also simultaneously working to increase direct flights between Israel and various parts of Africa, and also on improved cyber security agreements between the two countries.
Despite Israel and Uganda being on great terms overall, Israel has no embassy in Uganda currently per the Times of Israel, and communicates to Kampala through ambassadors at the Israeli embassy in Nairobi, the capital city of neighboring Kenya.
“Israel is returning to Africa, big time. Africa already returned to Israel,” Netanyahu said. “These are relations that are very important, in the diplomatic, economic and security areas, and many other realms.”