Guatemala Opens Jerusalem Embassy, Two Days After US

Guatemala Opens Jerusalem Embassy, Two Days After US

Guatemala Opens Jerusalem Embassy, Two Days After US

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.

Morales and Netanyahu met again later in the day when the convened at the Prime Minister's Office in the early afternoon, where they were joined by Sandra Jovel, Guatemala's foreign minister.

In his remarks, Netanyahu praised Morales and highlighted Guatemala and Israel's long history of close bilateral relations between the two countries.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales dedicated the embassy just two days after a high-powered American delegation also marked the transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Guatemala festively opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, becoming the second country to do so after the United States, and giving Israel a diplomatic boost as it faces global criticism for the deadly violence on the Gaza border.

The opening comes almost 30-years after the UN ordered Guatemala and 13 other nations to relocate their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

"You were always among the first", he said. "You are the second country to recognize Israel, but you had a very important role in this".

Netanyahu noted that Guatemala was the second country behind the United States to recognize Israel's independence after the partition vote in the United Nations.

Morales said his country, Israel and USA "share friendship, courage and loyalty".

All embassies to Israel were situated in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, before the USA and Guatemalan embassy moves.

Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it annexed after the 1967 conflict, as its capital.

The Israeli military, which has come under worldwide criticism for firing on unarmed protesters, said Hamas militants tried to carry out bombing and shooting attacks under the cover of the protests and released video of protesters ripping away parts of the barbed-wire border fence. According to health officials, at least 63 Palestinians were killed along the Gaza Strip in the demonstrations Monday. It was the bloodiest day in the Hamas Islamist-run enclave since a 2014 war with Israel.

Israel was criticised internationally for killing unarmed Palestinians. U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman also attended Wednesday's ceremony.

"We are not surprised that a president that has objected to United Nations investigations into corruption and abuses of power has made a decision to further violate worldwide resolutions". 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". Marking the move, the Jerusalem municipality illuminated the walls of the Old City walls late Tuesday with flags of Guatemala, Israel and the United States and a message thanking Morales.

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