Guatemala will move its embassy to Jerusalem, following its decades long-tradition of supporting the Jewish state.
Guatemala has announced that it will move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, making it the first country to officially follow the US in doing so.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced on his Facebook page that he spoke on Sunday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two discussed “the excellent relations” the two countries share.
One of the most important topics discussed was the move of the Guatemalan embassy to Jerusalem, he wrote.
“So I inform you that I have instructed the chancellor to initiate the respective coordination so that it happens,” Morales announced.
Guatemala has supported the creation of the state of Israel and was the second country to recognize it after the US. It was one of the nine nations that voted against last week’s United Nations resolution that condemned the US for President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted his thanks to Guatemala for its “important decision” to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
”Wonderful news and true friendship! Viva la amistad entre Guatemala,” he wrote, which means “long live the friendship” in Spanish.
Earlier this month, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel announced that her country supports the US’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Morales made an historic visit to Israel in November 2016. He is a devout evangelical Christian. Shortly after taking office, he visited a synagogue in Guatemala City, where he announced his intention to visit Israel. The Central American leader said during his visit that he looks forward to bolstering agriculture, science, technology and security ties with Israel.
“In this visit, we want to deepen the dialogue between the two countries and strengthen bilateral ties,” Morales said. “As allies, the excellent relations between our countries will continue.”