Guatemala Becomes Second Country To Open Embassy In Jerusalem

Guatemala on Wednesday opened its embassy in Jerusalem, just two days after the United States inaugurated its new site there.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the embassy’s official opening in an office complex in west Jerusalem.

“It’s not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first. You were always among the first. You were the second country to recognize Israel,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony, referring to its founding in 1948.

Morales said his country, Israel and the United States “share friendship, courage and loyalty”.

The Donald Trump administration relocated the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, sparking clashes at the Gaza border between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters.

Scores of Palestinians were killed in the confrontations, with hundreds others left injured.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who with broad international backing want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as their capital.

Israel regards the entire city, including the eastern sector it annexed after the 1967 conflict, as its capital. The Trump administration has said the city’s final borders should be decided by the parties.

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