Israel Welcomes Guatemala's Announcement on Future Embassy Move

Israel Welcomes Guatemala's Announcement on Future Embassy Move

Israel Welcomes Guatemala's Announcement on Future Embassy Move

Guatemala and Israel have long had close ties, especially in security matters and Israeli arms sales to Guatemala.

In a post on his official Facebook account, Mr Morales said that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he made a decision to instruct Guatemala's Foreign Ministry to move the embassy.

She spoke a day after Guatemala said it would move its embassy to the city, a move slammed by Palestinian officials as "shameful".

Israel deported two of the three Turks who were briefly detained during demonstrations at al-Aqsa mosque last week after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "One of the most relevant issues was the return of the Embassy of Guatemala to Jerusalem", Morales wrote on Facebook.

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In July, Morales decorated the outgoing Israeli ambassador Moshe Bachar with the Order of Quetzal on the Grand Cross degree, the country's highest honor, in recognition of his cooperation in strengthening the political dialogue between the Central American nation and the Jewish state.

"We are in contact with at least ten countries, some of them in Europe" to discuss the move, deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely told public radio.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales (L) in Jerusalem on November 29, 2016.

On Dec. 6, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is being strongly opposed by the worldwide community.

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As a sequel to that, the UN General Assembly voted to adopt a non-binding resolution on the status of Jerusalem.

Israel called Guatemala's vote "courageous". There were also 35 abstentions and 21 countries were absent or did not vote at all. The holy city has been at the centre of peace-making efforts for decades.

"It's a shameful and illegal act that goes totally against the wishes of church leaders in Jerusalem" and of a non-binding U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning the US recognition, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, the French press agency, AFP, reported.

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