Guatemala has decided to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, following US President Donald Trump’s decision in the holy city. It said that its decision to follow the US in shifting its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was a "sovereign" matter that should not affect ties with other countries.
Guatemala made this declaration after UNGA (United Nation General Assembly) rejected Trump’s decision to have the United States recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with two-thirds of the majority.
US recognises Jerusalem as capital of Israel
On the Jerusalem matter, 128 countries voted for status-quo to maintain the international consensus that Jerusalem’s status can only be decided through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Only 8 countries voted with the United States against the resolution held in the UN General Assembly, among them Guatemala and fellow Central American country Honduras.
However, several important American allies nations abstained from the UNGA vote, among them Australia, Mexico and Poland. Others, such as France, Germany, Britain, and South Korea were in the majority of 128 nations disapproving any one-sided decision to view Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The eight countries on the US side of the vote were: Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Israel, the Marshall Islands and Togo.
Why did Guatemala and others stand with the US?
Guatemala and Honduras are heavily dependent on American funding to develop security in their gang-ridden territories. USA is giving them USD 750 million to provide better conditions at home. These 2-nations along with El Salvador is known as the Northern Triangle of Central America.
As per its President Jimmy Morales, Guatemala is historically pro-Israeli and in last seven decade of relations, Israel has been its ally. Despite us only being nine in the world (in the UN vote), we have the total certainty and conviction that this is the right path.”
The United States said that they would “take names” of the states differing its position, and threatened to cut funding to countries “that take our money and then vote against us.”