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Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
Photo: EPA
Palestinians: Guatemala's embassy decision is 'shameful'
'It's a shameful and illegal act that goes totally against the wishes of church leaders in Jerusalem,' Palestinian Foreign Ministry says in statement following decision to move his country's embassy, siding with the US and going against non-binding UN General Assembly resolution.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Monday said Guatemala's decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem after the United States recognized the city as the capital of Israel was "shameful."

 

 

"It's a shameful and illegal act that goes totally against the wishes of church leaders in Jerusalem" and of a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution condemning the US recognition, the ministry said in a statement.

 

In a short post on his official Facebook account on Sunday, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said he had chosen to relocate his country's the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—siding with the United States in a dispute over Jerusalem's status.

 

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki (Photo: EPA)
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki (Photo: EPA)

 

Speaking on behalf of his country, Jordan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi joined the condemnation over Guatemala's decision, calling it a "provocation" and saying it violates international law.

 

"We reject #Guatemala decision to move embassy to #Jerusalem & condemn it as absurd provocation, violation of international law. Occupied Jerusalem is capital of #Palestinian state which must be established on June 4 1967 lines on basis of 2-state solution as only path to peace," tweeted Ayman Safadi.

 

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (Photo: Reuters)
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (Photo: Reuters)

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Morales during a Likud party faction meeting on Monday. "God bless you, my friend, President Jimmy Morales, God bless both our countries, Israel and Guatemala," Netanyahu said, switching to English.

 

US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, reversing decades of US policy and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies.

 

On Thursday, 128 countries defied Trump by backing a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution calling on the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem.

 

Guatemala and neighboring Honduras were two of only a handful of countries to join Israel and the United States, which has pledged to move its embassy to Jerusalem, in voting against the UN resolution.

 

atemalan President Jimmy Morales meets with Netanyahu (file photo) (Photo: AFP)
atemalan President Jimmy Morales meets with Netanyahu (file photo) (Photo: AFP)

 

Israel's ambassador to Guatemala, Matty Cohen, said on Army Radio that no date had been set for the embassy move, "but it will happen after" the United States relocates its own embassy to Jerusalem. US officials have said that move could take at least two years.

 

The United States is an important source of assistance to Guatemala and Honduras, and Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that supported the UN resolution.

 

Prior to 1980, Guatemala—along with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, The Netherlands, Panama, Venezuela and Uruguay—maintained an embassy in Jerusalem.

 

Israel's passage in June 1980 of a law proclaiming Jerusalem its "indivisible and eternal capital" led to a UN Security Council resolution calling upon those countries to move their embassies to Tel Aviv, prompting their transfer.

 


First published: 12.25.17, 18:28
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