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Guatemala to Celebrate Israel's 70th Birthday with Jerusalem Embassy Move

Guatemala to Celebrate Israel's 70th Birthday with Jerusalem Embassy Move”

Trump's decision in December to transfer the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem has drawn widespread condemnation, with critics saying it damages hopes for a negotiated Middle East peace.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced to thousands of Israel supporters in Washington that his nation will join the United States in moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary. Of his own decision, Morales said, "It is important to be among the first, but it is more important to do it right". All of them are telling us 'You are the sovereign of Jerusalem.

"This decision strongly evidences Guatemala's continued support of Israel", he went on. Today it's an American Consulate, and after May 14th, the day after Jerusalem Day, it will become the embassy of the United States, and this is in Jerusalem. Trump's move reversed decades of U.S. policy, upsetting the Arab world and Western allies.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state. "His courageous decision has encouraged us to do what is right".

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There had always been global consensus that the city's status should be settled as part of a two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. But 128 countries supported that non-binding resolution.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday reaffirmed her country's gratitude to Morales. It was one of the first countries to recognize its status as a nation, and its diplomats once lobbied for votes at the U.N.to ensure its creation.

The 2015 election of Morales, an evangelical Christian and former TV comedian, to the Guatemalan presidency further bolstered ties between the two countries.

Morales is just a handful of world leaders who have backed President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.



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