Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem, two days after US

Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem, two days after US

Ahead of the opening ceremony for the Embassy of Guatemala in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning and in celebration of the dedication of the US Embassy on Tuesday, the Old City walls were illuminated with flags of Guatemala, the US and Israel. "You are always among the first", Netanyahu said, recalling that Guatemala was the second nations, after the U.S., that recognized the State of Israel in May 1948.

Netanyahu noted in his remarks that there is a Guatemala Street not far from the new embassy.

"70 years ago the USA and Guatemala voted in favor of partition", he said.

"We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend - then and now", Netanyahu said.

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital, and this is where our embassy should be located", Mr. Zeldin said in a press release. It started with a singer rendering all eight stanzas of Guatemala's national anthem, followed by the guests signing Hatikva.

To that end, he said that his next trip to Latin America will pass through Guatemala.

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Netanyahu said that this move goes "hand in hand" with opening two days ago of the USA embassy in the capital. Trump, in an early morning tweet, hailed the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem as "a great day for Israel".

"I thank President Jimmy Morales Cabrera of Guatemala for his courageous decision and am honored that we will be opening the embassy in the capital of Israel tomorrow".

"Guatemala and Israel - united forever", he declared.

On the same day, the Guatemalan president will meet with his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as compatriots residing in Israel.

Morales chose to relocate the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in December, after a similar announcement was made by US President Donald Trump. A high-level American delegation that includes Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump, and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt are attending the embassy opening ceremony.

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