By Jackson Richman
Guatemala will relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shortly after the U.S. does so this May, its president announced on Sunday.
“In May of this year, we will celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary, and under my instructions, two days after the United States moves its embassy, I decided to return the Guatemalan Embassy to Jerusalem,” Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales said in front of 18,000 people at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference.
Morales added, “As a sovereign decision, we recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Morales’s update on Sunday followed his country’s decision last December to move its embassy to Jerusalem shortly after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. will relocate its embassy. The U.S. will officially open an temporary embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, in accordance with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence, while looking for a location in the city to construct an embassy that is permanent.
Before his address to the pro-Israel crowd, Morales met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I thanked him for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Netanyahu posted on Twitter. “I hope soon the Guatemalan embassy will move to Jerusalem.”
Netanyahu is in Washington to meet with Trump on Monday and will address the AIPAC conference on Tuesday, followed by flying to New York for an annual gala on Thursday.