Guatemalan president promises to keep embassy in Jerusalem

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

By World Israel News Staff

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has promised to keep his country’s embassy in Jerusalem and designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, a spokeswoman for the government said Tuesday.

Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis, who attended Giammattei’s inauguration in Guatemala City on Tuesday, thanked the new president for his strong support of Israel.

“You express the deep, long-standing friendship between the two countries, Mr. President. Jerusalem has been the heart of the Jewish people for the past 3,000 years and we endeavor to strengthen our hearts to all who strengthen it,” Akunis said.

“Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and in fact a frontal unit of Iran and its whole purpose is the elimination of Israel. Thank you for your courageous decision to declare it a terrorist organization,” he added.

This is not the first time that the Guatemalan president expressed his desire to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

In December, Giammattei made his first visit to Israel, during which he said that his first order of business after being elected would be to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization

Israel has enjoyed close ties with the Central American country for decades.

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In 1948, Guatemala was the second country in the world to recognize the State of Israel, and in 1956 became the first country in the world to open an embassy in Jerusalem before relocating it to Tel Aviv.

In 2018, former Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales moved the embassy back to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, just 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.