Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem

Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem

Just as Guatemala followed the United States in May 1948 and was the second country to recognize Israel, it became the second state after the U.S. on Wednesday to open its embassy in Jerusalem. "You are always among the first", Netanyahu said, recalling that Guatemala was the second nations, after the USA, that recognized the State of Israel in May 1948.

"70 years ago the United States and Guatemala voted in favor of partition", he said.

Netanyahu mentioned that there is a Guatemala Street, named in honor of the country's former ambassador to the UN Jorge Garcia Granados.

"We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend - then and now", Netanyahu said. "I call upon other countries to join the United States and Guatemala - do the right thing and bring your embassies to the Jerusalem, our eternal capital!"

Washington relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, in a move that triggered world outcry.

The Israeli premier said he would visit Guatemala on his next visit to Latin America.

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In appreciation to Guatemala for moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the Old City walls were illuminated with the country's flags.

The last speaker was President Morales, who described Israel-Guatemala ties as a "love between brothers".

"Guatemala and Israel - united forever", he declared.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales were among officials attending an inauguration ceremony at the new embassy at an office park in the disputed city at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump announced the decision to move the embassy in December, when he formally recognised the city as the capital of Israel, breaking away from decades of USA neutrality on the senstitive issue.

In addition to the politicians from the Senate and House of Representatives, a presidential delegation was led by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and the president's daughter Ivanka Trump, who is a special advisor.

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