World Media

Guatemala Becomes Second Country To Move Israeli Embassy To Jerusalem

Guatemala Becomes Second Country To Move Israeli Embassy To Jerusalem

Following in US' footsteps, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem, despite worldwide condemnation. This move, which follows the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy two days ago, should hardly come as a surprise: Guatemala's strong ties with Israel go back to 1948, when it was the second country, similarly behind the U.S., to recognize its statehood.

"I look forward to assessing with you the practical ways... that we can advance this friendship and this alliance", Netanyahu said.

"We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now", added Netanyahu.

Israel was criticised internationally for killing unarmed Palestinians. 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.

"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", he wrote in a statement.

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Former Guatemalan foreign minister Gabriel Orellana has said Morales's embassy move has the effect of banishing his country "to the fringes of the United Nations". These countries also demanded an global investigation.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S. embassy relocation infuriated the Palestinians. "It's not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first". Mohammad Momani, the Minister of State for Media Affairs, called the move "an irresponsible step" and that all "peace-loving countries should support the two-state solution based on the global legitimacy, which calls on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on pre-June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital". United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 soon denounced this law, which threatened the prospect of peace, and urged member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem in protest.

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

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


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