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Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales gestures as he speaks during the dedication ceremony of the embassy of Guatemala in Jerusalem, May 16, 2018. EFE
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales gestures as he speaks during the dedication ceremony of the embassy of Guatemala in Jerusalem, May 16, 2018. EFE

Guatemalan president opens embassy in Jerusalem following U.S. move

The Central American country became the second nation after the U.S. to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

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The president of Guatemala on Wednesday followed in the footsteps of the United States by opening his country's embassy to Israel in Jerusalem at a ceremony attended by local dignitaries and members of the press. 

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony, accompanied by their wives, as documented by an EFE journalist. 

"Guatemalan Embassy, welcome home!" Jerusalem's mayor Nir Barkat said. 

Morales is set to meet with his Israeli counterpart, Reuven Rivlin, as well as Netanyahu and Barkat, who is to present Morales with the honorary keys to the city. 

The Central American country's embassy had been located in Jerusalem until 1980, when a United Nations Security Council resolution ordered member states to move their embassies from Jerusalem, in line with the international consensus not to recognize the city as Israel's capital until its status is established through negotiations. 

Palestinians see East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and annexed in 1980, as the capital of their future state. 

On Monday, the Israeli army killed 62 Palestinians and injured 3,188 during mass protests along the Gaza-Israel boundary against the US embassy's move to Jerusalem, according to Gaza-based Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra.

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