After US, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem

Guatemala Follows US, Opens Embassy in Jerusalem

Jimmy Morales, the Guatemalan President, arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday ahead of today's ceremony to a rapturous welcome; Jerusalem's old city walls were even illuminated with the Guatemalan flag and a message thanking Morales for his support.

Guatemala has opened its embassy in Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of the United States, which inaugurated its embassy in the city two days prior, in a move that has triggered global condemnation.

Nearly half a century on, Guatemala's new position can be seen as both a parroting of US foreign policy and as a chance to strengthen relations with Israel, from which it buys most of its arms.

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"It's not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first, you are always among the first", said Netanyahu.

During the ceremony, Netanyahu praised the Central American country for its long friendship and recognition of the Jewish State.

Honduras, which voted with the United States and Israel on the December 21 United Nations resolution, is yet to decide on relocating from Tel Aviv, despite parliamentary approval for the move.

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And Al Jazeera reports Paraguay plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of May. While other countries, including Honduras and the Czech Republic, have expressed interest in moving their embassies to Jerusalem, it remains unclear whether they will do so. That move caused some tension because both Israel and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Carlos Meyer, one of two Guatemalan diplomats stationed in Israel, has already moved to a new apartment in the capital's Nahlaot neighborhood.

The Arab League and the French government condemned the USA embassy move as illegal and in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions surrounding the conflict.

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