Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales dedicated the embassy Wednesday just two days after a high-powered American delegation also marked the transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Guatemala inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the US opened its embassy in the disputed holy city. You were always among the first.
The Israeli premier spoke of Guatemala's early recognition of the state of Israel after its creation in 1948 and said he would visit the country of 16 million on his next visit to Latin America. "We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now".
Paraguay says it will also relocate its embassy.
Nearly half a century on, Guatemala's new position can be seen as both a parroting of US foreign policy and as a chance to strengthen relations with Israel, from which it buys most of its arms.
The event marks the day when Israel was created in the midst of a violent campaign that led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland. The transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the USA invited a lot of criticism from Palestine and the worldwide community.
"The Guatemalan government has chosen to stand on the wrong side of history, to side with violations of global law and human rights, and to take a hostile step against the Palestinian people and the Arab world", Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Wednesday.
"We are not surprised that a president that has objected to United Nations investigations into corruption and abuses of power has made a decision to further violate global resolutions".
Morales said his country, the United States and Israel "share friendship, courage and loyalty" at the opening. "It's not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first".
Since the 1967 war when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the global community, as documented in a multitude of United Nations resolutions, supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the capital. United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 soon denounced this law, which threatened the prospect of peace, and urged member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem in protest. The Israeli forces killed almost 60 Palestinians in the clashes along the border this Monday.
The Arab League and the French government condemned the United States embassy move as illegal and in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions surrounding the conflict.