Washington has urged Asuncion to think twice about the “historic relationship” between the US, Israel, and Paraguay, and reconsider its decision to move the country’s Israeli embassy back to Tel Aviv.
After Paraguay announced plans to move the embassy, Vice-President Mike Pence was quick to get President Mario Abdo Benitez on the line.
Paraguay announced earlier this week that it would move its embassy back to Tel Avivhttps://t.co/hd12m4YYFo
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) September 7, 2018
The White House said in a statement on Thursday:
“The vice president strongly encouraged President Abdo Benitez to follow through with Paraguay’s previous commitment to move the embassy as a sign of the historic relationship the country has maintained with both Israel and the United States.”
Paraguay's new president, Mario Abdo Benitez, reverses his predecessor's decision to move the country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem pic.twitter.com/vhrZ29stWU
— TRT World (@trtworld) September 6, 2018
In May, Paraguay joined a tiny list of countries that opted to follow US’ suit by moving their embassies in wake of Donald Trump’s recognition of the holy city as the capital of the Jewish state.
On former president Horacio Cartes’ orders, Paraguay’s embassy officially moved to Jerusalem on May 21, less than a week after the United States relocated its mission. Guatemala also relocated their diplomatic mission to the city, which the Jewish nation views as its historic capital.
The Arab League today welcomed Paraguay’s decision to cancel its decision to relocate it’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. https://t.co/ukrvXtRShd
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) September 7, 2018
Despite the move, which was well-received at the time by Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abdo Benitez, who took office in August, decided to reverse the relocation. In retaliation, Israel announced that it would close its embassy in the South American country.
The new president, however, rushed to defend his move by stressing that “Paraguay is a country of principles,” which strives to achieve “broad, lasting and just peace” between Israelis and Palestinians by following international law.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 6, 2018
Amid massive disapproval from the Jewish community, the Arab League applauded Asuncion’s choice, while the Palestinian Authority branded Paraguay’s decision a “diplomatic achievement,” promising to “immediately” open its representation in the Latin American country.
(RT, PC, Social Media)