Published: Thu, December 28, 2017
People | By Leon Thompson

Following Trump, Guatemala to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem

Following Trump, Guatemala to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on Sunday he had given instructions to move the Central American country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a few days after his government backed the United States in a row over the city's status.

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

Guatemala, the United States, Israel and six smaller nations voted against a United Nations resolution to condemn US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, for its part, blasted the move as "a brazen act of disrespect... to the collective positions of worldwide alliances and groups Guatemala is part of".

Some analysts have criticized Trump's decision because of an worldwide consensus to avoid recognizing the ancient city as the capital of Israel as peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis are ongoing.

Morales' announcement comes days after his country was one of only seven nations to vote against a United Nations resolution that urged the UNired States to reverse its decision to move its embassy, the BBC reported. "God bless you", he said.

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Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israel Radio that Israel is in talks with ten other countries about moving their embassies, though she would not disclose which ones.

"Please come to Israel", he said.

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

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 Jewish, Muslim and Christian sites.

Trump's December 6 announcement has triggered weeks of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces, which have left 12 Palestinians dead.

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