Guatemala will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem only a couple days of after the US does the same with its embassy, President Jimmy Morales revealed in an address on Sunday at this year’s annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.
“In May of this year, we will celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary, and under my instructions, two days after the United States moves its embassy, Guatemala will return and permanently move its embassy to Jerusalem,” Morales said.
The Trump administration had announced over a week ago that it would speed up the process of gradually moving the US embassy to Jerusalem in correlation with Israel’s upcoming 70th anniversary. Morales credited Trump with showing initiative and leadership on the issue.
“I would like to thank President Trump for leading the way. His courageous decision has encouraged us to do what is right.”
“It is important to be among the first, but it is more important to do what is right,” he continued. “Therefore, as President of Guatemala and the person responsible for foreign affairs policy of my country, backed by the constitution of the Republic of Guatemala, I decided to return the Guatemalan Embassy to to Jerusalem.”
Morales had noted in his speech that Guatemala was the first country to have an embassy in Jerusalem and as early as 1959, before Israel took back the rest of the capital during the Six Day War in 1967.
“Throughout history, Guatemala has been among the first to make transcendental decisions as it relates to Israel,” the president added.
“This decision, strongly evidences Guatemala’s continued support and solidarity with the people of Israel, and we are sure that many other countries will follow in our steps.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Likud party last week that he expects it to only be “a matter of time” before other countries follow the lead of Trump and Morales in moving their embassies to Jerusalem. Canada’s Conservatives have pledged to do just that with the Canadian embassy in Israel, if they return to power in Ottawa after the next election cycle.