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Another Country Follows Trump's Lead on Israel

Guatemala says it also will move its embassy to Jerusalem
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 25, 2017 10:33 AM CST

(Newser) – Guatemala's president says the Central American country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, becoming the first nation to follow the lead of President Trump in ordering the change, per the AP. Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted with the United States and Israel on Thursday when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Trump didn't set any timetable for moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and neither did Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. In a post on his official Facebook account Sunday, Morales said that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he decided to instruct Guatemala's foreign ministry to move the embassy.

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Guatemala and Israel have long had close ties, especially in security matters and Israeli arms sales to Guatemala. No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move. In a statement, Netanyahu praised Morales' decision and said that he was waiting in Jerusalem. "God bless you, my friend, President Morales," he said. Trump upended decades of US policy with his Dec. 6 announcement that he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Though Trump said he was merely recognizing reality and not prejudging negotiations on the future borders of the city, Palestinians saw the move as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

(Read more Jerusalem stories.)

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