Jerusalem: Guatemala follows US in planning Israel embassy move

Guatemala says it plans to move the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, following a similar announcement from Donald Trump. Guatemala’s president, Jimmy Morales, said the decision was taken after speaking to the Israeli PM. It was one of only nine nations to vote against a UN resolution effectively repudiating the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Jerusalem’s status is a highly sensitive issue. Israel considers the whole of the city as its capital, while the Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a hoped-for Palestinian state. All countries currently keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.
President Trump announced earlier this month that the US was officially recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a decision that overturned decades of US policy, drew international condemnation and sparked protests across the Muslim world. He also said he would direct the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Mr Morales made the announcement on Facebook. Noting the “excellent relations” between Guatemala and Israel, he said “one of the most important topics was the return of Guatemala’s embassy to Jerusalem”. “For this reason I am informing you that I have given instructions to the foreign ministry that it start the necessary respective coordination to make this happen,” he added. He did not say when the move would happen. Israel has welcomed the announcement, with the foreign ministry saying it was a sign of “true friendship”. But a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the move “disappointing” and promised to fight it, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Last week, UN members decisively backed a resolution that said any decisions regarding the status of the Jerusalem were “null and void” and must be cancelled. The non-binding resolution was approved by 128 states, with 35 abstaining. Another 21 countries did not turn up for the vote. Aside from the US and Israel, Guatemala was joined by Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo in voting against the resolution.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook