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News > Latin America

Thank You: Guatemala's Jimmy Morales Invited to Pro-Israel AIPAC Conference

  • Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has close ties with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has close ties with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 March 2018

Morales was invited as a guest speaker after he supported Trump's decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem.

After being one of the few countries to support U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales will be a guest speaker at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington D.C., the biggest pro-Israeli conference in the United States, which will be attended with more than 18,000 pro-Israeli activists, lobbyist and politicians.


Palestine to Fight Guatemala's 'Hostile' Move to Jerusalem

The conference starts Sunday and ends on March 6, but Morales will only attend the opening ceremony. AIPAC usually invites high-profile speakers to its most important pro-Israel event in the U.S.. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump will also attend the meeting.

In 2016, Trump's presence and speech at AIPAC, where he called himself the “true friend of Israel,” won support from the pro-Israeli voting population and lobbies in the U.S..

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley visited Guatemala in late February where she thanked Morales for his support of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the U.S. embassy to the city, ending decades of Washington’s policy stating that the status of the city of Jerusalem must be decided as part of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, a position that most of the international community continues to fully support.

The Palestinian leadership and most of the international community consider East Jerusalem as occupied territory and the future capital of a sovereign Palestinian state.

During her visit Haley congratulated Morales for his work against corruption and respect for human rights, even though last year Guatemala had massive protests demanding their president resign over corruption allegations. The protests intensified when he tried to block the investigations at all costs and declared the head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, Ivan Velazquez, persona non grata.

Before visiting Guatemala, Haley also met with the recently-reelected president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, to greet him for the controversial electoral victory and also thank him for his support of Israel.

This year's agenda for AIPAC includes several controversial points regarding U.S. foreign policy, taking advantage of the current right-wing Trump administration

Some of the main discussion points include reducing U.S. aid for the Palestinian authority, breaking up the historic U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, reached under the Obama administration, and promoting bills and laws against the anti-occupation Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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