(FILES) This file picture taken on November 28, 2016 shows Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shaking hands during a joint press conference after signing bilateral agreements at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. (AFP PHOTO)
JERUSALEM, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales on Monday for deciding to move his country's embassy to Jerusalem.
Morales said in a post on his official Facebook page that he decided to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after talking with Netanyahu.
His move echoes U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the U.S. embassy, which triggered an international dispute.
"God bless you, my friend, President Jimmy Morales, God bless both our countries, Israel and Guatemala," Netanyahu said in a weekly meeting with his Likud party.
Netanyahu said that during their telephone talk, he told Morales that other countries are expected to follow the U.S. and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announce the transfer of their embassies to it. "Well, here is the second country and I reiterate: It is only the beginning and it is important," Netanyahu said.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced on December 6 that his country recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, revising a decade-long White House policy and triggering condemnations from Arab countries and U.S. allies.
Last week, 128 member-state of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution calling the U.S. to withdraw its decision. Guatemala voted against the resolution together with the U.S., Honduras, and the Pacific island states of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Palau.
Israel seized East Jerusalem together with the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war. Shortly later, it annexed East Jerusalem, proclaiming it as its "indivisible capital," in a move never recognized internationally prior to Trump's announcement.