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Embassy Announcement Welcomed

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Israel advocacy group Kiwi Friends of Israel has welcomed reports that Israel intends to re-open an embassy in Wellington.

"It's great news that Israel intends to restore it's Wellington embassy," says Ed Brownlee, a spokesman for Kiwi Friends of Israel.

"According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israelis are "frequent visitors" to New Zealand and Israel is the largest source of tourists to New Zealand in the Middle East.

"The restoration of an embassy can only help in promoting tourism from Israel, and will provide greater support to the thousands of Israelis who visit New Zealand every year.

Mr Brownlee says he hopes the move signals an improvement in New Zealand-Israel relations after changes of Government in both countries.

"New Zealand has certainly adopted a more reasonable stance towards Israel since the election of the new Government in November 2008. With a new Government in Israel, this diplomatic shift lays the ground work for a much closer economic and diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

"Having a functional embassy in New Zealand will bring that goal closer to reality," says Mr Brownlee.

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