Guatemala says it is moving embassy in Israel to Jerusalem


Mr Trump upended decades of United States policy with his announcement on December 6 that he was recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The decision comes three weeks after the United States chose to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy, and four days after Guatemala was one of only nine countries in the UN to vote against a resolution slamming the USA move.

Last week, Netanyahu told CNN that "several countries" were considering moving their embassies to Jerusalem in the wake of Trump's decision.

The Central American nation is the first country to announce it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem since Trump issued his announcement December 6.

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The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as their capital.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on his official Facebook account on Sunday that after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he had chose to instruct his foreign ministry to move the embassy to Jerusalem. I inform you that I have given instructions to the Chancellor [Foreign Minister] to initiate the process to make it possible.

"Other countries will recognize Jerusalem and announce the relocation of their embassies".

In all, 128 nations voted to maintain the worldwide consensus that Jerusalem's status can only be decided through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Palestine has slammed Guatemala's decision to transfer its embassy to the disputed city of Jerusalem as a "shameful and illegal act that goes totally against the wishes of church leaders" in the Holy City, as well as the UN General Assembly resolution. The announcement from President Morales, whose country receives a lot of assistance from the U.S., came after Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that tried to block its stance.

Others, such as Britain, France, Germany and South Korea were among the nations denouncing any unilateral decision to view Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Netanyahu spoke of Guatemala's move at the Likud faction meeting in the Knesset, saying he spoke Sunday night with Morales, who is an Evangelical Christian, thanked him for Guatemala's support at the United Nations, and expressed hope he would follow in Trump's footsteps. I'm going to take next year on Christmas, for those of you who come to Israel, a guided tour. One hundred and twenty-eight countries voted for a resolution condemning the United States decision.

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