Following Trump, Guatemala will move embassy to Jerusalem

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By Middle East Affairs

Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial announcement in December to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Guatemala has now joined in the decision, AFP reports.

At the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is a pro-Israeli lobbying group, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said his country will relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.

Morales told the audience Sunday, “This decision strongly evidences Guatemala’s continued support and solidarity with the people of Israel.”

Moving from Tel Aviv, the United States embassy in Jerusalem will open May 14, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s foundation. Morales said at the conference that Guatemala will open its new embassy two days later.

The decisions by Trump and Morales are controversial because while Israel claims the entire city as its capital, Palestinians view the east side of Jerusalem as the capital of its future state.

Most countries have agreed to stay neutral and allow Israel and Palestinians to negotiate the territory on their own.

The U.N. General Assembly resolved Dec. 21 to reject Trump’s decision. Only seven small countries, including Guatemala, sided with him.

“We are sure that many other countries will follow in our steps,” Morales said at the conference Sunday.

“I would like to thank President Trump for leading the way,” he added.

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