In an effort to strengthen its relations with Israel following Paraguay’s decision to move its embassy back to Tel Aviv, a city in Guatemala has passed a unanimous measure to name all the streets in the city after names of Israeli cities and communities.
Licenciado Hugo Sarceño, mayor of Puerto Barrios, made the announcement while in Israel with a high-level delegation from the large Guatemalan city.
Sarceño explained that his port city’s support for Israel is Bible-based.
“We believe that everyone who helps the State of Israel will be blessed by God,” he said. “We are great supporters of the State of Israel, we love the citizens of Israel and are interested in deep cooperation between our countries. The connection isn’t just between governments, but between the peoples of our countries.”
The purpose of Sarceño’s trip is to strengthen relations with Israel and attract Israeli investment in infrastructure development, transportation systems, civil aviation, seaports, agriculture and science in Guatemala.
Sarceño met with Haim Bibas, mayor of Modi’in Macabim Reut and head of Israel’s Center for Local Government, and presented Bibas with a key to Puerto Barrios. The two agreed to hold a joint conference of Israeli and Guatemalan mayors in 2019.
Paraguay’s new government announced on Wednesday it would reverse its predecessor’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that it would relocate its embassy to Tel Aviv.
Guatemala was the second government after the US to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move its embassy to Jerusalem.