Paraguay has opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem, the second country to follow the United States in making the politically sensitive move from Tel Aviv.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the inauguration ceremony on Monday.
The US relocated its embassy to Jerusalem a week ago, drawing Palestinian and international anger. Its move was followed by Guatemala on Wednesday.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 21, 2018
Palestinian leaders see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and have said that US President Donald Trump’s move disqualifies Washington’s as a peace mediator.
Previous US presidents, as well as nearly every other country, refrained from opening embassies in Jerusalem, arguing that the city’s final status should first be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
A great day for Israel, a great day for Paraguay & a great day for our friendship. Today we opened the Paraguayan embassy in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Thank you to my friend, President Horacio Cartes, for your great friendship that comes from the depth of your heart. ???? pic.twitter.com/iByBuyI2Ub
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 21, 2018
Later on Monday, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), condemned the opening of the Paraguayan embassy in Jerusalem.
He said in a statement:
“We have witnessed today how the Paraguayan president is an irresponsible political leader by defying international law and the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
— Palestine PLO – DCI (@PLO_DCI) May 20, 2018
Erekat also called the Arab world to boycott countries that relocate their embassies to Jerusalem.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)