The United States isn’t the only country set to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales revealing in a speech this week that his country’s embassy will officially move in May.
“In May of this year, we will celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary, and under my instruction, two days after the United States, Guatemala will move its embassy permanently to Jerusalem,” Morales said during a speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. “We are sure that many other countries will follow in our footsteps.”
The Guatemalan president received quite a bit of applause after he revealed these details.
Morales went on to herald his country’s relationship with Israel, pledging to support the Middle Eastern nation. Additionally, he noted that Guatemala was the first country to establish an embassy in Jerusalem back in 1959. The country later moved it, but will now return its embassy to the capital, the Forward reported.
As Faithwire previously reported, the U.S. will open its embassy ahead of a proposed 2019 pledge that was previously made by Vice President Mike Pence. The move is being made in time to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary this May. The embassy will be in a temporary space, while an official and permanent location is worked on, CBN News reported.
Trump’s proclamation in December “officially recognizing Jerusalem as [Israel’s] capital” and his decision to relocate the “United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem as soon as practicable” has rocked the world over the past few months.
The United Nations General Assembly took the issue up in December during an emergency session, with the vast majority of member countries condemning the move. Overall, 128 countries voted for a resolution against Trump’s proposal, while just nine nations sided with the U.S. An additional 35 countries abstained from the vote, CNN reported.
The measure certainly has its opponents outside of the UN as well, including Pope Francis and the heads of some Christian churches in Jerusalem. In fact, 13 church leaders from Greek, Syrian and Armenian Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran and other traditions signed a letter to Trump that warned of potential repercussions, according to The Los Angeles Times.
It is unclear if the permanent embassy location will be solidified and open by the end of 2019.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump’s decision this week.
“Mr. President, this will be remembered by our people, throughout the ages,” he said. “And as you just said, others talked about it; you did it.”
Jerusalem continues to spark a slew of controversy among the world’s Abrahamic faiths. For an in-depth history on why the embattled city matters so much to so many parties, go here.