Guatemala Opens Embassy in Jerusalem


This comes two-days after the United States (US) inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem.

Guatemala on Wednesday opened its embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the second country to do so.

At 10.30 am this morning, Guatemala officially opened its new, unfinished embassy in Jerusalem.

The inauguration was attended by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. While other countries, including Honduras and the Czech Republic, have expressed interest in moving their embassies to Jerusalem, it remains unclear whether they will do so. You were always among the first.

Netanyahu noted that Guatemala was the second country behind the United States to recognize Israel's independence after the partition vote in the United Nations. Paraguay has said it will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of May.

The US, however, blocked a statement drafted by Kuwait calling for an independent investigation into the killings of Palestinian protesters in Gaza and calling on countries not to station their diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

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The global community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city and says its final status should be set in peace negotiations.

The opening of the USA embassy in Jerusalem on Monday triggered deadly clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in Gaza and the West Bank. It was the bloodiest day in the Hamas Islamist-run enclave since a 2014 war with Israel.

On Wednesday, a day after expelling Israel's ambassador in response to the Gaza deaths, Turkey ordered the Israeli consul general in Istanbul to return home.

Morales said Israel and Guatemala have a "deep friendship", hoping that other countries will follow the same move.

The Palestinians, who seek East Jerusalem as capital of their hoped-for state, vehemently oppose the U.S. Embassy's relocation from Tel Aviv, seeing it as a one-sided move that invalidates the a Mideast peace broker.