Guatemala made history when it followed the US in moving its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
By: World Israel News Staff
Guatemala made history on Wednesday when it moved its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, two days after the US made the same move.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and several heads of state from both countries were present at the momentous ceremony.
Guatemala was the first country in the world to open an embassy in Jerusalem in 1956, but moved it to Tel Aviv in 1980, so in essence, it is returning to the capital.
“Guatemalan Embassy, welcome home! Ahead of the inauguration of the embassy, we have illuminated the walls of the Old City with the flags of Guatemala and Israel,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat stated on Tuesday.
Barkat thanked Morales for his “courageous decision” and called upon other countries to join the US and Guatemala in doing the “right thing.”
Shortly after taking office in 2015, Morales, a devout evangelical Christian, visited a synagogue in Guatemala City, where he announced his intention to visit Israel. He made the historic trip in November 2016.
Guatemala was one of the nine nations to vote against a United Nations resolution that condemned the US for Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem.
Guatemala will be joined by Paraguay and Honduras in committing to the move.
The Czech Republic has also expressed interest; however, its government has not issued a unified statement.
Liviu Dragnea of the Social Democratic Party, which effectively runs Romania’s government, said Bucharest was ready to move the embassy.
In April 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a similar move to recognize “west Jerusalem” as the Israeli capital.