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Guatemala vows to move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

06 March 2018

In his speech, Morales highlighted that in 1959, Guatemala was the first country to open an embassy in Jerusalem, although it was moved to Tel Aviv after the global community rejected Israeli claims to East Jerusalem. The move is planned for May 16, two days after the United States plans to move its embassy. "I hope soon you will move your embassy to Jerusalem; we hope", Netanyahu told Morales in Washington.

Guatemala will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May, two days after the United States embassy makes the same move, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on Sunday at a conference in Washington.

During her visit Haley congratulated Morales for his work against corruption and respect for human rights, even though previous year Guatemala had massive protests demanding their president resign over corruption allegations. "His courageous decision has encouraged us to do what is right", President Jimmy Morales said at a Washington conference on Sunday.

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The Palestinian leadership and most of the global community consider East Jerusalem as occupied territory and the future capital of a sovereign Palestinian state.

He added the decision "strongly evidences Guatemala's continued support and solidarity with the people of Israel".

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.

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Nicaragua now becomes the first country other than the U.S.to set a date for the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem. But 128 countries supported that non-binding resolution.

The 2015 election of Morales, an evangelical Christian and former TV comedian, to the Guatemalan presidency further bolstered ties between the two countries.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday reaffirmed her country's gratitude to Morales.

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President Morales describes Guatemala's long support for Israel and announces his decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary celebration.

Guatemala vows to move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem