Lazarus Chakwera, president of the southeastern African country of Malawi, has announced his plan to open an embassy in Jerusalem during a State of the Nation address to the Malawian parliament.

“My administration recognizes that foreign relations have a significant role to play in promoting the socio-economic development and growth of Malawi,” Chakwera said.

“Our focus on the world stage will be reforming the foreign affairs ministry headquarters and its missions abroad so that our embassies are able to deliver on the ambitious objectives of promoting Malawi’s national interests globally,” he said.

“The reforms will also include a review of our diplomatic presence, including our resolve to have new diplomatic missions in Lagos, Nigeria, and Jerusalem, Israel. I will be sharing more details about this in the near future,” Chakwera said.

The announcement was met with applause by the Malawian parliament.

Malawi does not currently have an embassy in Israel, though the countries have had relations since 1964.

If Chakwera follows through on his plan, it would make Malawi the first African country to establish a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.