Guatemala opens new embassy in Jerusalem following USA lead

The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Old City of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock

The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Old City of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock

In anticipation of the inauguration of the Guatemalan Embassy in Jerusalem's Malcha Technology Park on May 16, the city illuminated the Old City walls with flags of Guatemala, Israel and the United States along with a message thanking President Jimmy Morales Cabrera of Guatemala. Both Israelis and Palestinians consider Jerusalem a holy city and they have fought over it since Israel's inception.

Paraguay is scheduled to open a Jerusalem embassy on May 21 with its president, Horacio Cartes, due to be in attendance.

"You are always among the first, always among the first.We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend - then and now", Netanyahu went on, recalling that Guatemala was the second nation, after the USA, to recognize Israel in May 1948.

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

After President Trump's announced his decision to move the embassy, President Morales made the same choice in December.

Honduras is expected to follow Guatemala soon with opening an embassy in Jerusalem.

The Pakistani foreign ministry said the US embassy move violated worldwide law and UN Security Council resolutions. Israel occupied the east of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and, in effect, annexed it, in a move not recognised internationally.

After President Trump's announcement past year, the Czech Republic has said that Jerusalem is the "capital of the State of Israel, in its 1967 borders".

But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States had opened an "American settlement outpost in East Jerusalem".

Palestinian leaders said by relocating the embassy the United States had created incitement and instability in the region and abrogated its role as a peace mediator.

But Tuesday also marks the anniversary of what Palestinians call their "nakba", or catastrophe, a reference to the uprooting of hundreds of thousands who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation. Angelina Solis, Guatemala's ambassador to Israel, hailed her country's decision to return to Jerusalem as a "brave" and "historic" and revealed her belief that "a lot of blessings will come after this decision". The outlet says a couple of other countries are considering a similar move.

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