Monday, 17 December, 2018

Thank You: Guatemala's Jimmy Morales Invited to Pro-Israel AIPAC Conference

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales right receiving an award from B’nai B’rith Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales right receiving an award from B’nai B’rith
Andrew Cummings | 06 March, 2018, 01:47

The Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, a close ally of the United States, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Sunday that he plans to move his country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.

President Donald Trump's decision a year ago to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital departed from decades of United States policy.

Guatemala has announced that it will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, the country's president announced on Sunday. "We are sure that many other countries will follow in our footsteps".

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday thanked Morales for his support on the Jerusalem question.

"Thank you for everything you're doing, for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital".

Palestinians have been angered by Trump's decision, which went against the vocal opposition of Arab leaders as it seeks to change the status of the contested city.

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The decision in December by President Donald Trump to transfer the United States 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. Earlier this month, the United States said the move would take place to coincide with Israel's 70th birthday. "His courageous decision has encouraged us to do what is right", Morales explained.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

During her visit Haley congratulated Morales for his work against corruption and respect for human rights, even though past year Guatemala had massive protests demanding their president resign over corruption allegations.

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.

The central American country's support may come as a surprise to some but the nation has been a long-time backer of Israel.

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