Sunday 16 June 2019

Guatemala will move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Guatemala will move its embassy after its president spoke to Benjamin Netanyahu (Amir Cohen/Pool Photo via AP)
Guatemala will move its embassy after its president spoke to Benjamin Netanyahu (Amir Cohen/Pool Photo via AP)

The president of Guatemala says the Central American country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted earlier this week with the United States when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing president Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

President Jimmy Morales said on his official Facebook account that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he decided to instruct his foreign ministry to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The resolution passed at the UN declared the US action on Jerusalem "null and void".

The 128-9 vote was a victory for Palestinians, but fell short of the total they had predicted.

Thirty-five nations abstained and 21 stayed away from the vote.

No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move.

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

Though Mr Trump said he was merely recognising reality and not prejudging negotiations on the future borders of the city, Palestinians saw the move as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim the city's eastern sector, which was captured by Israel in 1967 and is home to sensitive religious sites.

Many governments have long said that the fate of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations.

Mr Trump's announcement has set off weeks of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces that have left 12 Palestinians dead.

Mr Netanyahu has predicted others would follow the lead of the United States, and has made great efforts to reach out to Latin America in recent years as part of a campaign to counter longstanding support for the Palestinians at the United Nations.


Press Association

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