Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Blair House in Washington DC

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales Sunday afternoon at Blair House in Washington DC in a “warm” encounter that saw the two men discussing deepening ties between their two nations.

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“Thank you for everything you’re doing, for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Netanyahu said at the start of their meeting. “I hope soon you will move your embassy to Jerusalem; we hope.”

Morales replied, “It is an honor and it is the right thing to do.” He also invited Netanyahu to visit him in Guatemala.

Israel’s prime minister thanked him for the invitation and reciprocated with an invitation of his own for Morales to come to Jerusalem.

It is believed that Morales will announce a date for the move by the Embassy of Guatemala to Jerusalem when he addresses the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Sunday evening in Washington DC.

Morales announced last December that his country would follow the lead of the United States and move its embassy to Jerusalem. Likewise, Guatemala joined the United States in voting against a United Nations resolution that rejected President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

At least 18,000 people are gathered at the convention to hear top American and Israeli speakers through Wednesday, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.