Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem, two days after USA move

Jerusalem’s Old City walls glow with Guatemala flags ahead of embassy launch

The embassy was closed in 1980, after Israel passed a law declaring that a "complete and united" Jerusalem was Israel's capital, and the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling on member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city.

Guatemala inaugurated its Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, becoming the first country to follow in the footsteps of the United States' deeply controversial move. The Embassy move is contentious for Palestinians, who hope to claim part of the city as their future capital, and for many in the Arab world, as it is home to some of the holiest sites in Islam.

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

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

The last speaker was President Morales, who described Israel-Guatemala ties as a "love between brothers".

Turkey has responded to the violence by asking the Israeli ambassador to leave the country, while also recalling its ambassadors to the USA and Israel "for consultations".

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The ceremony, at Guatemala's small embassy in Jerusalem's Malha Technological Park, was a much humbler affair than Monday's dedication of the United States embassy.

The Israeli premier said he would visit Guatemala on his next visit to Latin America.

He, too, recalled the country's fruitful bilateral cooperation, vowing to take concrete steps to strengthen them.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the embassy's opening, in an office complex in west Jerusalem.

"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 Wednesday.

In addition to the politicians from the Senate and House of Representatives, a presidential delegation was led by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and the president's daughter Ivanka Trump, who is a special advisor.

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