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Guatemala Commits to Moving its Embassy to Jerusalem

Guatemala Vows to Move its Embassy to Jerusalem
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Rabat – Guatemala, one of the nine countries to support Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, vowed on Monday to follow in the US’ steps and move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The Central American country has echoed the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, becoming the first country to do so after the US.

The US is still standing firm on its decision. On Thursday, December 21, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by an overwhelming majority a resolution that rejects US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel capital, and to move the US embassy to the holy city.

Guatemala’s move was highly lauded by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister. “God bless Guatemala over Jerusalem’s move,” said the Israeli PM.

Donald Trump denounced the UN resolution, emphasizing that the countries who voted against his decision “take hundreds of  millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us […] Let them vote against us, we’ll l save a lot.”

Nine countries voted against, including the United States and Israel, Micronesia, Togo, Palau, Marshall Islands, Honduras, Nauru and Guatemala. Thirty five countries abstained to vote. Canada was among those countries.

The vote came at the request of Arab and Muslim countries to vote against the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump’s decision received a backlash from the Arab world and international community.  Arab leaders, including King Mohammed VI, warned Trump over his decision. The monarch sent a letter to the US President a day before his decision (December 5), stressing how such decision would undermine peace negotiations over the region.

The King also sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in which he explained how Trump’s decision is a threat to end peace negotiations between the two states.

On December 6, Trump made an unprecedented speech at the White House, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and vowed his commitment to move the US embassy to the area from Tel Aviv.

The president said he was aware of the consequences of his decision.

“There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement – but we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and cooperation.”

 

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