Guatemala: Jerusalem embassy move 'will not be reversed'

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Jovel says she expects world to respect country's decision, Guatemala President Morales calls Israel an 'ally.'


Jimmy Morales
Jimmy Morales

Guatemala's foreign minister insisted Friday that President Jimmy Morales' plan to move the country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem will not be reversed, and called for critics to "respect" the country's decisions.

"It's a decision that has been made ... it is not going to be reversed," 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 Palestinian Authority.

On Tuesday, Guatemala said its decision to follow the United States in moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was a "sovereign" matter that should not affect ties with other countries.

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

The announcement made Guatemala the first country to follow the United States' lead on the holy city.

Morales, defending his decision, said Israel is an "ally" and that Guatemala has "historically been pro-Israel."