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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Rabat scraps twinning plan with Guatemala over Israel embassy move

Guatemala followed the lead of the US to transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2L) stands next to Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales during a reception for the dedication ceremony of the embassy of Guatemala in Jerusalem, at the King David hotel in Jerusalem, May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2L) stands next to Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales during a reception for the dedication ceremony of the embassy of Guatemala in Jerusalem, at the King David hotel in Jerusalem, May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Rabat has shelved plans to for a twin city partnership with Guatemala City in protest against Guatemala’s transfer of its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Moroccan capital's deputy mayor said on Saturday.

“Following Guatemala's decision to establish an embassy in Al Quds, Rabat’s city council unanimously decided to suspend the examination of a twinning project with Guatemala City in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” deputy mayor Lahcen El Amrani of the Islamist PJD party told Reuters.

Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site there, a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation.

Israel considers Jerusalem its capital and Palestinians also hope one day to have the capital of independent state there. Most countries have their Israel embassies in Tel Aviv, arguing that the status of Jerusalem must be determined in future talks.

On the day the United States opened its new embassy, Israeli troops killed 60 Palestinian demonstrators at the border in Gaza - including an eight-month-old infant.

The Rabat city council had previously planned to vote on a twinning project with Guatemala City last week. Guatemala opened an embassy in Rabat, its second in Africa, in November 2017.