Israel to close seven diplomatic missions, embassies abroad

By Sara Shayanian  |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 11:58 AM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Israel will close seven diplomatic offices abroad over the next three years, government officials decided Friday in their 2019 budget.

Among the missions that will be closed include some in the United States, which currently has Israeli missions in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

It costs between $3.4 and $4.4 million dollars to operate each U.S. location.

Other missions considered for removal are in Canada, which has offices in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Officials may also shutter missions in Brazil, Turkey and Germany. Elsewhere in Europe, they are considering the consolidation of missions in Latvia and Lithuania, as well as those in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The Foreign Ministry said the closings will likely span three years. Any money the government saves on the deals will be used for real estate and defense expenses.

Savings may also help prop up new offices, including an embassy in Rwanda. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's has said he'd like to expand the country's foreign missions and open new offices, particularly in Africa.

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