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Jerusalem - Israeli Official: More Than 10 Countries Mulling Embassy Moves To Jerusalem

Published on: December 25, 2017 03:34 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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FILE - Ultra Orthodox Jews look towards the the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, 30 November 2017. EPAFILE - Ultra Orthodox Jews look towards the the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, 30 November 2017. EPA

Jerusalem - Israel’s Foreign Ministry is in contact with more than 10 countries from every continent in the world who have expressed interest in following the US lead and moving their embassies to Jerusalem, a top Israeli diplomat said on Monday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s comments, in an interview on Reshet Bet, came following Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales decision to move the country’s embassy. He announced the move in a Facebook post on Sunday evening.

“Today I spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Morales wrote on his Facebook page.

“We spoke about the great relationships we have had as nations since Guatemala supported the creation of the State of Israel. One of the most relevant topics was the return of the Embassy of Guatemala to Jerusalem,” he continued.

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The decision comes three weeks after the United States decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy, and four days after Guatemala was one of only nine countries in the UN to vote against a resolution slamming the US move. That resolution passed 128 to nine, with 35 abstentions.

Only three of the eight central American countries voted against Israel at Thursday’s UN vote. Hondorus, Guatemala’s neighbor to the east with whom Israel has strong ties, also voted against the measure and is widely believed to be a leading candidate to be the next country to announce that it will move its embassy.

Netanyahu spoke of Guatemala’s move at the Likud faction meeting in the Knesset, saying he spoke Sunday night with Morales, who is an Evangelical Christian, thanked him for Guatemala’s support at the UN, and expressed hope he would follow Trump’s footsteps.

“From here I would like to say to the President of Guatemala, God bless you, my friend, President Morales,” Netanyahu said. “God bless both our countries – Israel and Guatemala. We are waiting for you here in Jerusalem.”

Netanyahu said that Gutamala’s move was “only the beginning, and it is important,” and that “there will be other countries that would recognize Jerusalem and announce the transfer of their embassies to it.”

Neither Netanyahu or Hotovely would list the names of other countries who are considering the move, though Hotovely said that a number of them have a strong Christian base. Between 35% to 40% of Guatemala’s 16.6 million citizens are Evangelicals. 

Since Trump’s declaration on December 6, senior officials in the Czech Republic, the Philippines and Romania mentioned the possibility of such a move or of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Each of those countries abstained in the UN vote last Thursday blasting Trump’s decision.

Morales, a former television personality, was elected in October 2015, and diplomatic officials in Israel at the time predicted it would lead to a strengthening of already strong ties between the two countries.

Israel has long had good relations with Guatemala, though Morales has brought those ties to a different level. Guatemala was the first Latin American country to vote in favor of partition at the UN on November 29, 1947.

Before his election, Morales had no governmental experience.

Mattanya Cohen, Israel’s ambassador to Guatemala, told Army Radio that the move had to do with the large evangelical population in the country, and the developmental aid it gets from israel.

President Reuven Rivlin posted a tweet expressing Israel’s appreciation. “Guatemala has shown they know very well that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel!,” he wrote. “I welcome their decision to bring their embassy to Jerusalem and thank them for their deep friendship.”



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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 25, 2017 at 05:21 PM BLONDI Says:

so where are they going to build the new embassies in jerusalem? who will they employ to do the construction? ARABS?! makes me sick to see the arabs are working. they know the layout and can plan sabotage...get rid of them

2

 Dec 25, 2017 at 08:33 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

I do not believe the Foreign Ministry. We will see.

3

 Dec 25, 2017 at 09:05 PM Heeb Says:

Reply to #1  
BLONDI Says:

so where are they going to build the new embassies in jerusalem? who will they employ to do the construction? ARABS?! makes me sick to see the arabs are working. they know the layout and can plan sabotage...get rid of them

You are assuming that these sewer rats have the mental bandwidth to remember anything past what a Gaza tunnel looks like... I will not give them that much credit...

4

 Dec 26, 2017 at 11:46 AM Anonymous Says:

and pray tell, why can't they just RENAME their consulates which I'm sure they have now in Jerusalem as their EMBASSIES? too difficult for people to figure that one out? too many tipshim in the world

5

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