With the Guatemalan flag already hoisted at the location of its new embassy in Jerusalem, there is a palpable mood of excitement among Israeli officials to see other countries doing the same very soon.
“Wonderful to see Guatemala’s flag flying proudly above the new Guatemalan embassy in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem,” Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, wrote on Twitter. “Looking forward to seeing many more flags joining Guatemala’s in the city of peace.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also very “moved.”
“I was moved to see the flag of Guatemala waving in Jerusalem in advance of the opening of the Guatemalan embassy later this month,” Netanyahu tweeted. “Dear friends, welcome back to our eternal capital!”
Although Guatemala has already raised its flag in Jerusalem’s Malcha Technology Park, its embassy officially opens on May 16, two days after the United States inaugurates its new embassy in the Israeli capital. The date of May 14 was selected to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary on the Gregorian calendar.
A delegation of approximately 40 US dignitaries are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Those among the delegation include U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham. US President Donald Trump may attend as well.
Following in the path of the United States and Guatemala, are Honduras, the Czech Republic and Paraguay. The National Congress in Honduras voted last month to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and the Czech Republic has adopted a three stage process to move its embassy to the capital.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes announced his country’s decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem at an event last week marking Israel’s 70th anniversary. Parliamentary officials in Romania said their country would do the same, but the plan has received pushback from Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.