Guatemala Follows US Lead, Plants Embassy in Jerusalem

Guatemala Follows US, Opens Embassy in Jerusalem

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, a dedicated Christian, was on hand to personally inaugurate his nation's new embassy at the Malha Technology Park. Guatemala previously had an embassy in Jerusalem, the first country in the world to open an embassy in the city in 1956.

Guatemala was the first nation after the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, on December 24, 2017.

Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli troops
Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli troops

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales attended the opening Wednesday morning of the embassy in the Technological Park of southern Jerusalem's Malha neighborhood. It's one of only seven countries that sided with the United States.

"You are always among the first".

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Paraguay is expected to follow the U.S and Guatemala's lead, and plans to relocate their embassy to Jerusalem in the coming weeks.

In 1959, Guatemala was the first country to open its embassy in Jerusalem, but later moved it to Tel Aviv, following worldwide rejection of Israeli claims to East Jerusalem.

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Palestinian leaders said by relocating the embassy, the U.S. had created incitement and instability in the region and abrogated its role as a peace mediator. Israel's passage in June 1980 of a law proclaiming Jerusalem its "indivisible and eternal capital" led to a UN Security Council resolution calling on Guatemala and several other countries to move their embassies to Tel Aviv. 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".

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