Guatemala inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem after United States move

Guatemala inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem after United States move

Guatemala has opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the second country to do so after the United States, as global condemnation continued over the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut a blue-and-white ribbon as the official opening of the embassy.

Post the opening of the embassy, violent clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers at the Gaza Strip, resulting in the killing of 62 agitators.

The US and Guatemalan moves break with decades of global consensus.

The Palestinians, who seek East Jerusalem as capital of their hoped-for state, vehemently oppose the U.S. Embassy's relocation from Tel Aviv, seeing it as a one-sided move that invalidates the a Mideast peace broker.

Netanyahu profusely praised the Central American nation for making the move and noted it came only two days after the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

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The EU's energy commissioner is also traveling this week to Iran to discuss strengthening European energy support to Iran. In a tweet on Sunday, Trump wrote: "Remember how badly Iran was behaving with the Iran Deal in place".

"You were always among the first", he said at the ceremony.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it in a move not recognized internationally.

Jimmy Morales, the Guatemalan President, arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday ahead of today's ceremony to a rapturous welcome; Jerusalem's old city walls were even illuminated with the Guatemalan flag and a message thanking Morales for his support.

All embassies to Israel were situated in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, before the United States and Guatemalan embassy moves.

Since the 1967 war when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the worldwide community, as documented in a multitude of United Nations resolutions, supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the capital.

Aron Heller is an Associated Press writer.

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