Paraguay moving embassy from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv; Israel retaliates

“Israel views with utmost gravity the extraordinary decision by Paraguay, which will cloud bilateral relations,” Netanyahu said following the announcement that the country is moving its embassy from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv.

By: TPS and World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the foreign ministry to close Israel’s embassy in Asunción Wednesday after Paraguay did an about-face and announced it would move its embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem on Wednesday.

“Israel views with utmost gravity the extraordinary decision by Paraguay, which will cloud bilateral relations,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated.

“Paraguay wants to contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts to achieve a broad, fair and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Castiglioni said, reversing the decision made by former President Horacio Cartes to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Cartes opened the embassy in Jerusalem on May 21, following the United States and Guatemala.

He was replaced by fellow conservative Mario Abdo Benítez in August.

Netanyahu called the move at the time “a great day for Israel, a great day for Paraguay, a great day for our friendship.”

“You’ve done much for your country, and now you’re doing something for both our countries,” he added.

Netanyahu also praised Paraguay’s decades-long support of the Jewish people, including helping Jews escape Nazi Germany, Paraguay’s support of the creation of the State of Israel and its recognition of the State of Israel at the United Nations.

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