The Central American country was one of nine nations that voted earlier this week with the US when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing Mr Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
President Jimmy Morales said on his official Facebook account that after talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he decided to instruct his foreign ministry to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
He wrote: “We spoke about the excellent relations that we have had as nations since Guatemala supported the creation of the state of Israel.
“One of the most important topics was the return of the embassy of Guatemala to Jerusalem.
“I have instructed the chancellor to initiate the respective coordination so that it may be.”
The US is an important source of aid to Guatemala, and Mr Trump had threatened to cut off financial help for countries that voted in favour of the UN resolution.
No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move.
While I am sure the threat of having aid restricted played a major part in their decision, Guatemala and Israel have good relations, and have had so throughout the history of the modern state of Israel. Israel has never forgotten how in November 1947, Guatemala’s ambassador to the U.N., Dr. Jorge Garcia Granados, enlisted Latin American states to vote in favor of the partition plan. In fact, there are a number of cities in Israel with Guatemala streets, including Jerusalem.
And here’s a fact not really being reported elsewhere: This is not the first time Guatemala will have had an embassy in Jerusalem! In 1956, they became the first country to open one there (with García-Granados as the first ambassador), before bowing to Arab oil pressure, and becoming one of the last embassies to move out of Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, in 1980.
Thank you for your friendship, Guatemala, and rejoining the right side of history.
Update: Some more context to the decision.
The Guatemalan embassy move to Jerusalem will take place after the U.S. embassy move, Israel’s ambassador to Guatemala City tells @GLZRadio. He attributes the decision to Guatemala’s 50% percent Evangelical Christians and long-standing development assistance from Israel.
— Dan Williams (@DanWilliams) December 25, 2017