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Israel and Guatemala sign scientific-technological accord

The agreement furthers cooperation including in agriculture, water and artificial intelligence.

Science and Innovation Minister of Gila Gamliel (center) meets with pro-Israel lawmakers in Guatemala City, May 16, 2024. Photo: Courtesy.
Science and Innovation Minister of Gila Gamliel (center) meets with pro-Israel lawmakers in Guatemala City, May 16, 2024. Photo: Courtesy.

Israel and Guatemala have reached an agreement to promote scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries, furthering bilateral relations amid global calls for boycotting Israel over the war with Hamas.

The accord was signed in Guatemala City last week.

“This agreement gives expression to my policy to look for new horizons in strategic regions that will help safeguard Israel’s scientific and innovation supremacy,” said Minister of Science and Innovation Gila Gamliel in a statement.

“It will also strengthen Israel’s ties with countries like Guatemala and in the region at a time of calls for Israel academic boycotts in the US and Europe,” she added.

Óscar Chinchilla, director general of the Guatemalan Training Institute (INTECAP), and Israeli Science and Innovation Minister Gila Gamliel at the signing ceremony in Guatemala City, May 16, 2024. Photo: Courtesy.

The accord furthers cooperation including the exchange of researchers and scientists in the fields of agriculture, water and artificial intelligence.

With a population of around 18 million, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America, and its people are supportive of Israel even as relations have chilled with the current Guatemalan government.

The former Guatemalan government was led by evangelical Christian leaders who repeatedly cited their faith, as well as their nation’s history, as a central pillar of their deep friendship with the Jewish people.

Guatemala’s friendship with Israel dates back to the vote by the United Nations to create a Jewish state in 1947, when it became the first country in Latin America to recognize the newly-founded Israel. It was also the second country to move its embassy to Jerusalem after the United States did so in 2018.

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