Guatemala has opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the second country to do so after the United States, as international condemnation continued over the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces.
Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales dedicated the embassy just two days after a high-powered American delegation also marked the transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said it was fitting since Guatemala also followed the US to be the second country to recognise Israel 70 years ago.
“You were always among the first,” he said at the ceremony. “We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now.”
US president Donald Trump announced his decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy there, triggering a joyous reaction from Mr Netanyahu’s government.
Israel has always claimed Jerusalem as its capital yet most countries opted to place their embassies in coastal Tel Aviv because of the holy city’s contested status.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.
— Yuval Rotem ???????? (@Yuval_Rotem) May 16, 2018