Guatemalan President to follow Trump lead in Moving Embassy in May

Netanyahu and Morales in Washington

Netanyahu and Morales in Washington Chaim Tzach GPO

Morales told the Zionist lobbying group, "As a sovereign decision, we recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel".

Last year, Morales announced it would follow the U.S.in moving its embassy, and in a speech Sunday before the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, he said the move will happen as Israel celebrates its founding.

Three weeks after President Donald Trump declared on December 6 that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that the USA would start the process of moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced his own embassy's move, being the first to follow the American lead.

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"I would like to thank President Trump for leading the way", Morales said.

Palestinians have been angered by Trump's decision, which went against the vocal opposition of Arab leaders as it seeks to change the status of the contested city.

Guatemala's Constitutional Court has rejected a local lawyer's attempt to prevent the government from moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, as the U.S. plans to do, a court spokesman said Saturday.

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Guatemala was one of the few countries to endorse US President Donald Trump's decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that prompted outrage across the global community. Israel's sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem is unrecognized by most of the global community. But this wouldn't be the first time the Central American country has maintained an embassy in the holy city.

The United States is an important source of assistance to Guatemala, and Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that supported the UN resolution.

Santiago Palomo told AFP that the Constitutional Court's five magistrates rejected the petition from lawyer Marco Vinicio Mejia. "It's the right thing to do", said Morales.

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After the United Nations vote in December, Morales stated: "Guatemala is historically pro-Israeli".

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