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Guatemala follows U.S. by opening Jerusalem embassy

17 May 2018

"It's not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first".

Guatemala has officially transferred its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, two days after the United States of America held its own Jerusalem embassy inauguration ceremony on Monday.

Guatemala was one of only a few nations that backed Trump's decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and is only the second country to move its embassy to the holy city. At the ceremony, he said, "You were always among the first, "Netanyahu further added, "We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now".

Israel has faced global criticism over its use of live fire.

Guatemala, the second country to recognise Israel as a state in 1948, has had a long history of military cooperation with Israel.

No country recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital until December 2017, when Trump declared it as such, breaking with decades of U.S. policy favouring the division of Jerusalem between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

And Al Jazeera reports Paraguay plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of May. Unsurprisingly, such rhetoric has been matched this week by Netanyahu, who felt "moved" at the sight of Guatemala's flag flying in Israel's "eternal capital" after an absence of 38 years.

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"The Guatemalan government has chosen to stand on the wrong side of history, to side with violations of global law and human rights, and to take a hostile step against the Palestinian people and the Arab world", Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Wednesday.

Morales said Guatemala was sending a message of "love, peace and fraternity" to Israel amid praise from Netanyahu.

"We are not surprised that a president that has objected to United Nations investigations into corruption and abuses of power has chose to further violate global resolutions". The latter is a major arms supplier to the Central American nation.

The embassy is located in Jerusalem's southern Malkha neighborhood.

The Jordanian government also denounced Guatemala for moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday triggered deadly clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority said Wednesday it was recalling its envoys to Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria after their ambassadors attended an Israeli reception marking the USA embassy move.

Guatemala follows U.S. by opening Jerusalem embassy