Guatemala Backs Trump, Set To Move Embassy to Jerusalem
Guatemala has decided to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, President Jimmy Morales said Sunday as they become the first country to back US President Donald Trump’s controversial change of stance on the holy city.
After speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Morales wrote to Guatemalans on his Facebook page that “one of the most important topics was the return of Guatemala’s embassy to Jerusalem,” from Tel Aviv, where it is currently located 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,” Morales wrote.
Last week, Guatemala was one of only nine nations to vote against a UN resolution urging America to reverse its controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump responded by threatening to cut aid to nations that voted against the US, Nigeria inclusive, with claims of a derisive remark he made about Nigerian migrants to the US.
Also, the US is an important aid donor to Guatemala, an impoverished Central American country that also has ties with Israel.
On Sunday, Mr Morales said he had instructed the Guatemalan authorities to start “the necessary respective co-ordination” before moving the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The status of Jerusalem, and who lays claim to it goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel occupied the east of the city, previously occupied by Jordan, in the 1967 Middle East war and regards the entire city as its indivisible capital.
However, the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state and its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.
Trump broke with tradition last month when he declared Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, sparking widespread protest across the middle east and Muslim world.
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