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Guatemala follows United States by opening Jerusalem embassy

17 May 2018

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the embassy's opening on Wednesday in an office complex in west Jerusalem, Reuters reports.

This comes two-days after the United States (US) inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem.

Guatemala Follows US, Opens Embassy in Jerusalem
Guatemala follows United States by opening Jerusalem embassy

Guatemala has opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the second country to do so after the United States, as worldwide condemnation continued over the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces.

Following in US' footsteps, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem, despite worldwide condemnation. The ownership of Jerusalem has been a topic of worldwide debate and conflict for generations, and it is one of the focal points of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

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On Tuesday, the Palestinians marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day, or "the Day of Catastrophe", to demand their rights of return to homes occupied by Israel in the 1948 war. That move caused some tension because both Israel and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

All embassies to Israel were situated in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, before the USA and Guatemalan embassy moves. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of committing genocide, calling it a terrorist state, and pulled ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington.

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Paraguay has said that it expects to follow suit and open its embassy in Jerusalem by the end of May.

Morales said Guatemala was sending a message of "love, peace and fraternity" to Israel amid praise from Netanyahu. These countries also demanded an worldwide investigation.

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Guatemala follows United States by opening Jerusalem embassy