Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem, two days after US

Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem, two days after US

Guatemala's Embassy in Israel officially opened in Jerusalem after relocation of its operations from Tel Aviv, a Sputnik correspondent reported Wednesday. The Guatemalan Congress recently passed a law marking May 14 as "Israel-Guatemala Friendship Day".

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales dedicated the embassy just two days after a high-powered American delegation also marked the transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I think we need more Guatemala Streets in Israel", he said.

Guatemala also followed the U.S. in May 1948 to be the second country to recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

The Israeli premier said he would visit Guatemala on his next visit to Latin America. "We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now".

"This is the beginning of something extraordinary, " Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the dedication of the new embassy on the third floor of a high-rise office building in the Malha Technological Park in Jerusalem. Before 1980, Guatemala and a dozen countries maintained an embassy in Jerusalem.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally.

All foreign embassies in Israel were situated in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, prior to the United States and Guatemalan embassy moves. It's one of only seven countries that sided with the United States.

The Arab League and the French government condemned the U.S. embassy move as illegal and come in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions surrounding the conflict.

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

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