Guatemalan leader, on Israel trip, will designate Hezbollah as terrorist group

In 1948, Guatemala was the second country in the world to recognize the State of Israel.

By World Israel News and JNS

Guatemala’s president-elect Alejandro Giammattei told Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz on Sunday that his first order of business after he takes office will be to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

“The friends of Israel are our friends and the enemies of Israel are our enemies,” he told Katz.

Giammattei, who is on his first visit to Israel this week, continued to say that the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group will be all-encompassing, whereby members of the terrorist group will not be able to enter his country or act from within it.

Guatemala’s president-elect also met with Israel President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday.

“Welcome, my dear friend, to Jerusalem,” said Rivlin, according to a spokesman. “The friendship between our countries runs deep. We will never forget Guatemala’s role in ensuring Latin American support for Israel’s creation at the United Nations.”

Rivlin called Guatemala’s decision to open its embassy in Jerusalem an “act of determination and courage.”

Giammattei told Rivlin that “Israel has proven that it is on our side in times of need,” and “that’s why Israel is our last stop in our tour of friendly allied nations.”

He also invited Rivlin to attend his inauguration on Jan. 14, and in turn, Rivlin invited him back to Jerusalem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 22.

Israel has enjoyed close ties with the Central American country for a very long time.

In 1948, Guatemala was the second country in the world to recognize the State of Israel.

On May 16, 2018, Guatemala moved its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a mere two days after the U.S. took the world by surprise by moving its embassy to the capital of Israel.

On the morning of the move, Jerusalem’s Old City walls were draped with flags of Guatemala, the U.S. and Israel.

Guatemala was also one of the nine nations to vote against a United Nations resolution that condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.