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Guatemalan president-elect is a ‘friend of Israel,’ says Netanyahu

Israel is happy with the election of another friendly president in Guatemala after the country’s runoff elections on Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Alejandro Giammattei on Tuesday after he defeated former first lady Sandra Torres in a runoff.

“I congratulate Alejandro Giammattei on his election as president of Guatemala. He is a friend of Israel and I am convinced that together we will strengthen the excellent cooperation between the countries” —Netanyahu said in a statement.

The outgoing President Jimmy Morales moved his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, following the United States’ unprecedented move last year.

During Morales’ tenure “relations between Israel and Guatemala reached new heights, thanks also to his correct and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the Guatemalan Embassy there,” —Netanyahu.

Guatemala’s small embassy was officially opened in Jerusalem’s Malcha Technology Park in May 2018.

Giammattei appears to be following in Morales’ footsteps and said he would not move the embassy back to Tel Aviv.

“He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy,” — Giammattei, in a statement last month.

He added that he would maintain relations with Israel as a top foreign policy priority and take action against the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which operates extensively in Latin America.

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