Arab League secretary-general urges Guatemala to cancel embassy move

In an urgent letter to Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales, Arab League Chief Aboul-Gheit expressed his dissatisfaction with the President's decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

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March 9, 2018 09:06
1 minute read.
Arab League secretary-general urges Guatemala to cancel embassy move

A general view of Jerusalem shows the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem's Old City on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount December 6, 2017.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit urged Guatemala to cancel its decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem on Thursday, according to the official Palestinian Authority news site Wafa.

In an urgent letter to Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales, Aboul-Gheit expressed his dissatisfaction with the president's decision to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Spokesman for the Secretary-General Mahmoud Afifi said in a statement.

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Guatemala was one of a handful of countries that backed a UN vote on US President Donald Trump's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Last Sunday, President Morales confirmed at AIPAC that the embassy would move to Jerusalem two days after the United States, in mid-May. Palestinians fumed as the Guatemalan ambassador Sara Castaneda toured Jerusalem on Monday, looking at properties for the future embassy.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the biggest obstacles to any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who want east Jerusalem as their capital.

The Arab League had expected that Guatemala would seek to value their political, economic and cultural bilateral cooperation and uphold international law and justice, Spokesman Afifi said in his Thursday statement.

However, he emphasized that the Arabs were willing to maintain friendly relations with Guatemala and avoid any actions that could harm such relations in the future.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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