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Rabat suspends twin city plan with Guatemala over Jerusalem move

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Rabat has shelved plans to for a twin city partnership with Guatemala City in protest against Guatemala’s transfer of its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Moroccan capital’s deputy mayor said on Saturday.

“Following Guatemala’s decision to establish an embassy in Al Quds (Jerusalem), Rabat’s city council unanimously decided to suspend the examination of a twinning project with Guatemala City in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” deputy mayor Lahcen El Amrani of the Islamist PJD party told Reuters.

Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site there, a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation.

Israel considers Jerusalem its capital and Palestinians also hope one day to have the capital of independent state there. Most countries have their Israel embassies in Tel Aviv, arguing that the status of Jerusalem must be determined in future talks.

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On the day the United States opened its new embassy, Israeli troops killed 60 Palestinian demonstrators at the border in Gaza. Israel says the violence was incited by Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza. Hamas denies blame.

The Rabat city council had previously planned to vote on a twinning project with Guatemala City last week. Guatemala opened an embassy in Rabat, its second in Africa, in November 2017.

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