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Guatemala president opens embassy in Jerusalem

May 16, 2018 at 10:24 am

Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales & Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, preside over ribbon cutting ceremony at the Guatemalan embassy in Jerusalem [Twitter]

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales this morning inaugurated his country’s embassy in occupied Jerusalem, two days after the US relocated its mission from Tel Aviv.

According to the Israeli media, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined Morales to cut a blue and white ribbon at the site of the new embassy.

“It is not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem two days after the US. You are always among the first,” Netanyahu said, recalling that Guatemala was the second nations, after the US, that recognised the State of Israel in May 1948, the Times of Israel reported.

“We share so many goals and values even though were are so far away,” he added.

READ: Paraguay, Honduras to open embassies in Jerusalem

At the end of his brief speech, Netanyahu promised that his next trip to Latin America would start in Guatemala.

Morales was also joined by his country’s foreign minister who had attended the US embassy inauguration on Monday.

Morales’ visit comes as 63 Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation forces in the besieged Gaza Strip as they protested against the 11-year long Israeli siege, to call for their Right of Return and to commemorate 70 years since the Nakba.

The 70th anniversary of the Nakba – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Israeli occupation forces responded with brutal violence against protests in the West Bank, injuring at least 46 people in Bethlehem. In Jerusalem, tightened security around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has led to Palestinians being forced to endure security checks upon entering the Old City via Damascus Gate as well as an increased military presence.