Following Palestinian efforts and pressure, Paraguay announced relocation of its embassy to Tel Aviv; PM orders closure of Israeli embassy in Paraguay; Netanyahu: Israel views with utmost gravity the extraordinary decision by Paraguay which will cloud bilateral relations.



Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed the closure of the Israeli Embassy in Paraguay after Paraguay announced it would relocate its embassy back to Tel Aviv.

Paraguay announced on Wednesday that it would return its embassy to Tel Aviv after relocating its embassy to Jerusalem over three months ago. Paraguay, under President Horacio Cartes, moved its embassy following the United States and Guatemala in May.

Paraguay’s Foreign Minister, Luis Alberto Castiglioni, announced on Wednesday “Paraguay wants to contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts to achieve a broad, fair and lasting peace in the Middle East.” Specifically on Jerusalem he stated, “Paraguay considers that it has to be addressed through negotiations by the concerned parties, within the framework of the relevant international organizations decisions.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the move, ordering the Israeli embassy to be shut down. The Office of the Prime Minister released this statement Thursday morning “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to close the Israeli Embassy in Paraguay. Israel views with utmost gravity the extraordinary decision by Paraguay which will cloud bilateral relations.”

The Palestinians praised Paraguay’s move, claiming it a victory for the Palestinian’s “diplomatic efforts” and announcing it would open a Palestinian embassy in Paraguay. The Office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas released the statement “This decision was in line with international resolutions and the result of wise and vigorous Palestinian diplomatic efforts to explain the dangers of the transfer of embassies to Jerusalem on the peace process in the Middle East and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Paraguay’s decision to reverse its embassy move follows intense efforts by Palestinian organizations and their allies to delegitimize Israel and Jerusalem. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki reportedly lobbied and pressured newly instated President Mario Abdo to reverse its embassy move and support of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.



Photo: Don Mammoser/