Back from Israel, Nutter talks about effort to save Philly consulate

Mayor Nutter confers with Mayor Nir Barkat (left) of Jerusalem at a meeting in Jerusalem.

Back in City Hall after a 10-day trade mission to the United Kingdom and Israel, Mayor Nutter on Tuesday said he personally urged Israeli President Shimon Peres to help stop the closure of the country's consulate in Philly.

"He understood the message that I was delivering, that I am absolutely 1,000 percent opposed to the closure of that office. He recognized the importance of that office and said he would do all that he could in communicating with the foreign minister about the importance of the Philadelphia office," Nutter said. 

Complicating matters was the fact that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who stepped down last year to fight corruption charges, was sworn back into his old office just last night after being cleared of the allegations last week. 

"I also talked to someone in the foreign ministry office who assured me that this issue will be at the top of the list for the foreign minister as he comes back into his office," Nutter said.

Israel has consulates in New York City and Washington, D.C. The Philly office was rumored to be on the chopping block to make room in the budget for a new consulate in China.

Check out today's Daily News cover story on Nutter's travels.