Guatemala opens new embassy in Jerusalem following U.S. lead

17 May, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Latin America in quandary over US embassy move

Guatemala inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the USA opened its embassy in the disputed holy city.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were on site for the grand opening early Wednesday.

The US and Guatemalan moves break with decades of worldwide consensus.

This comes two-days after the United States (US) inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem.

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"This is the beginning of something extraordinary, or I would say, the re-beginning of something extraordinary, which is the relationship between Guatemala and Israel", he said.

The Israeli premier said he would visit Guatemala on his next visit to Latin America. The opening of the U.S. Embassy on Monday was met with mass protests on the Gaza border, where Israeli troops killed almost 60 Palestinians, triggering a wave of worldwide condemnation.

U.S. president Donald Trump announced his decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the American embassy there, triggering a joyous reaction from Mr Netanyahu's government.

The heavy Palestinian death toll, along with hundreds of wounded, made it by far the bloodiest day of cross-border violence since a devastating 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

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In 1980, Guatemala pulled its diplomats from Jerusalem after the Knesset announced the controversial Jerusalem Law, which triumphantly declared the city, "complete and united", as Israel's capital.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said ambassadors to Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria were being called home for consultations after those countries sent envoys to a celebratory event held by Israel's Foreign Ministry ahead of the U.S Embassy opening.

At the same time, Israel has found other nations following the U.S. lead and rallying to its defence.

Paraguay has said that it expects to follow suit and open its embassy in Jerusalem by the end of May.

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"How do would you know?" "I believe peace is within reach if we dare to believe that the future can be different from the past", he added.

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