Guatemala became the second country to open its embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, The Jerusalem Post reported.
At the dedication ceremony, held at Jerusalem’s Malha Technological Park, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem goes “hand in hand” with the opening of the United States embassy in Israel’s capital two days before.
In his remarks, Netanyahu highlighted the friendly relationship that both countries have shared since 1948 when Guatemala became the second country, after the U.S., to recognize the State of Israel.
Netanyahu mentioned that in Israel, there is a Guatemala Street “about a kilometer from here in Jerusalem” and in many Israeli cities in honor of former Guatemalan Ambassador to the United Nations Jorge Garcia Granados, who was critical in convincing Latin American countries to favorably vote for General Assembly Resolution 181 which called for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and Arab state.
“We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend — then and now,” Netanyahu said.
At the ceremony, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales highlighted the friendly relationship that the U.S, Israel and Guatemala share: “70 years ago the US and Guatemala voted in favor of partition,” he said. “Three friends that share friendship and loyalty.”
Was very pleased to meet today with President Morales of Guatemala. I thanked him for joining with the United States in moving Guatemala's embassy to Jerusalem, Israel. A courageous and just decision! pic.twitter.com/r20EKHKhFy
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) May 16, 2018
Around 150 people attended the ceremony including U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, businessman Sheldon Adelson, Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat along with several Guatemalan politicians.
Netanyahu said that he plans to visit Latin America by the end of this year and that he will stop in Guatemala.
Outgoing Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes announced a week ago that his nation will also move its embassy to Jerusalem before the month of May is over.
[Photo: Prime Minister of Israel / Facebook ]