Guatemalan FM defends Jerusalem embassy move, says no US pressure existed

After Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced his decision to relocate his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel defended the move and clarified that the United States did not pressure Guatemala into making the announcement. “The decision was made by the government as part of our foreign policy,” she explained.
Jerusalem Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel defended on Wednesday the relocation of her country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced his decision earlier this week.

Jovel also denied the reports claiming that Washington pressured Guatemala into announcing the embassy move. “There wasn’t any pressure,” she said. “The decision was made by the government as part of our foreign policy.”

In a post on his official Facebook page, Morales said on Sunday that he made the decision after speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Morales noted that excellent relations have existed between the two countries since Israel’s creation.

Guatemala was one of the nine countries that opposed the mainly symbolic vote last week condemning the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. An overwhelming majority of 128 member-states voted in favor of the resolution. Togo, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Honduras, Nauru and Palau were among the countries that joined Guatemala in rejecting it. Thirty-five countries, including Canada, Paraguay, Romania and Poland, abstained from the vote.

A day after Morales announced his decision, Israeli Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotovely said during an interview with Reshet Bet that over 10 countries may move their embassies to Jerusalem. Hotovely refused to name the countries but mentioned the Romanian parliament head’s recent statement calling on his country to consider the move.

“Trump’s declaration will create a wave,” she stated. “We are now seeing the harbingers but there’s no doubt that there will be a very big wave here and it’s a diplomatic accomplishment for generations.”



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