Flag of Guatemala
Flag of Guatemala iStock

Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it is starting the process of moving the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, after President Jimmy Morales announced he had given instructions for the embassy to move from Tel Aviv.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the presidential order and is starting the process of implementing this foreign policy decision," said the ministry in a statement quoted by AFP.

Morales announced the embassy move in a Facebook post on Sunday night, adding he decided to move the embassy from Tel Aviv after talking to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about the issue.

With the announcement, Guatemala is following in the footsteps of the United States, whose President Donald Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu hailed Guatemala’s decision, saying other nations would also follow Washington's lead.

"Other countries will recognize Jerusalem and announce the relocation of their embassies. A second country did it and I repeat it: there will be others, it's just the start and it's important," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"We are waiting for you here in Jerusalem," Netanyahu told Morales.

Guatemala's announcement came after the UN General Assembly last week approved a motion rejecting Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Guatemala was of the nine countries to have voted against the resolution.