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Guatemala to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

  • VOA News

FILE - Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales.

Guatemala has become the first country to follow the United States in planning to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

President Jimmy Morales made the announcement Sunday after telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his plans in a telephone call.

"We talked about the excellent relations we have had since Guatemala supported the creation of the State of Israel. One if the most relevant issues was the return of the Embassy of Guatemala to Jerusalem," Morales wrote on Facebook.

Guatemala was one of just nine countries to vote against last week's UN General Assembly resolution denouncing President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and plans to move the U.S. embassy there.

Israel calls Guatemala's vote "courageous." Morales gave no timetable for when the Guatemalan embassy will move.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

The Palestinians and much of the international community have said the status of Jerusalem is to be settled as part of peace negotiations.

The Trump administration says recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is a "reflection of reality" and that the physical location of the embassy has no bearing on the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution in the Mideast.