Guatemala says Jerusalem embassy move 'will not be reversed'

Guatemala says Jerusalem embassy move 'will not be reversed'
2 min read
30 December, 2017
Guatemala became the first country to follow the US' controversial decision to move its Israel embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem.
Guatemala's foreign minister Sandra Jovel. [Getty]

Guatemala on Friday doubled down on its controversial decision to move the country's embassy to Jerusalem, insisting that the announcement will not be reversed.

Last Sunday, President Jimmy Morales unexpectedly announced the transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on social media, in the wake of the UN General Assembly's condemnation of a similar move by the US.

The announcement made Guatemala the first country to follow the US' controversial decision on the holy city.

Israel welcomed Guatemala's announcement, while the Palestinian Authority criticised it, referring to it as a "shameful" move.

"It's a decision that has been made ... it is not going to be reversed," Guatemala's Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel told journalists during an event to commemorate the end of the Guatemalan civil war in 1996.

"The Guatemalan government is very respectful of the positions that other countries have taken, and as we are respectful of those decisions, we believe others should respect decisions made by Guatemala," she added in response to critics, including the Palestinians.

Guatemala's government has given no timeline for a move, and Trump has also not said when a US switch might be made.

Trump's move has been condemned worldwide and protests have taken place globally in the US, UK, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, and Jordan.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its "undivided" capital, a position nearly the entire world rejects saying its status should be determined in peace talks with Palestine.

Under international law East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory.