The number of embassies moving to Jerusalem is growing, and even more may be on the way. The first nation to officially join the United States in announcing plans for such a move was Guatemala, with President Jimmy Morales instructing his Foreign Ministry to start the process for relocating their embassy to Jerusalem on Sunday, according to the Foreign Ministry website. Israel applauded the decision and predicted others would join.
“I told you recently that there will be other countries that would recognize Jerusalem and announce the transfer of their embassies to it,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments released by his office on Monday. “Well here is the second country and I reiterate: It is only the beginning and it is important.”
To that end, Haaretz reported that Israel is in talks with more than 10 nations about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in some format. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely made the comment on Israel’s Kan Bet public radio and later told Haaretz the focus for now is on recognition and not the moving of embassies.
Meanwhile, Haaretz noted that the president of the Czech Republic has expressed a desire to move their embassy eventually and a previous Haaretz article cited a report by Israel’s Channel 1 news that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has indicated they could consider moving their embassy to Jerusalem as well.
The Times of Israel republished comments from The Romania Journal in which the leader of Romania’s parliament said they should “seriously consider” moving the embassy for logistical reasons, given that Israel’s leadership is based in Jerusalem.
Sunday’s victory was apparently inspired by a conversation between Netanyahu and the Guatemalan leader. Netanyahu said in the comments from his office that he had spoken with Morales on Sunday and encouraged him to move the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Later that same night, Morales posted to Facebook an announcement summarizing his conversation with Netanyahu, noting that “one of the most important topics” was moving the Guatemalan embassy to Jerusalem. “So I inform you that I have instructed the chancellor to initiate the respective coordination so that it may be,” wrote Morales. The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry website confirmed the decision and in an official communication announced that the process has begun, although no timeline was provided.
Netanyahu said in response to the decision by Morales, “G-d bless you, my friend, President Morales. G-d bless both our countries—Israel and Guatemala. We are waiting for you here in Jerusalem.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 25, 2017)