After US, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem

17 May, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Guatemalan flag hanging outside the building housing the offices of the Central American country's embassy in the Israeli city of Herzliya near Tel Aviv

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales dedicated the embassy just two days after a high-powered American delegation marked the transfer of the U.S. Embassy.

Guatemala inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem, the second country to move its main diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv.

At 10.30 am this morning, Guatemala officially opened its new, unfinished embassy in Jerusalem. That move caused some tension because both Israel and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

The inauguration was attended by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. Guatemala previously had an embassy in Jerusalem, the first country in the world to open an embassy in the city in 1956. You were always among the first.

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"You are always among the first, always among the first.We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend - then and now", Netanyahu went on, recalling that Guatemala was the second nation, after the U.S., to recognize Israel in May 1948.

Paraguay is scheduled to open a Jerusalem embassy on May 21 with its president, Horacio Cartes, due to be in attendance.

Trump's move reversed decades of USA policy, upsetting the Arab world and Western allies. The Trump administration has said the city's final borders should be decided by the parties.

Palestinian leaders said by relocating the embassy the United States had created incitement and instability in the region and abrogated its role as a peace mediator.

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Wednesday's development comes amid widespread anger and protests in the occupied Palestinian territories, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe.

On Wednesday, a day after expelling Israel's ambassador in response to the Gaza deaths, Turkey ordered the Israeli consul general in Istanbul to return home.

The Palestinians, who seek East Jerusalem as capital of their hoped-for state, vehemently oppose the U.S. Embassy's relocation from Tel Aviv, seeing it as a one-sided move that invalidates the U.S.as a Mideast peace broker.

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