Friday, March 16, 2018

Paraguay and Honduras are reported to be ready "in principle" to move their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem

As reported by Jewish News Service, March 12, 2018 (links in original):

Following on the heels of the United States and Guatemala, Paraguay and Honduras have announced that they are ready “in principle” to relocate their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Israel’s Army Radio.

The countries have conditioned their moves on an official visit to their countries by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu visited Latin America in September, but did not stop in Paraguay. During Netanyahu’s trip, Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes traveled to Buenos Aires to meet with Netanyahu.

At the recent AIPAC Policy Conference, President Jimmy Morales announced that Guatemala would move its embassy to Jerusalem “two days after the United States moves its embassy,” tentatively scheduled for May 14.

In December, following the announcement that the United States would move its embassy and officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the U.N. General Assembly voted to condemn America’s announcement.

The nine countries to vote against were Israel, the United States, Honduras, Guatemala, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo. Paraguay was one of 35 countries to abstain, while another 21 countries did not participate in the vote.

President Milos Zeman has also expressed his desire to move the Czech Republic’s embassy to Jerusalem.
May 8, 2018 update: As reported by Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 8, 2018 (link in original):

JERUSALEM — Paraguay is moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from its current position near Tel Aviv.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry made the announcement in a statement issued on Monday. Reuters also verified the move with a Paraguay government spokesman.

Paraguay will be the third country to move its embassy to Jerusalem. The United States will dedicate its temporary Jerusalem embassy on May 14, followed two days later by Guatemala.

Paraguay’s president, Horacio Cartes, will come to Israel later this month, on May 21 or May 22 to open the country’s new Jerusalem embassy, Reuters reported citing a Paraguay government spokesman.

The Paraguayan embassy is currently located in the coastal city of Herzliya.

Cartes, who will leave office in mid-August when a new government takes over, announced late last month during an event in the capital Asuncion marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day that he planned to move the embassy before the end of his term. It is not known if Cartes consulted with President-elect Mario Abdo Benítez before announcing the move.
May 22, 2018 update: As reported by Tazpit Press Service, May 21, 2018:

Paraguay officially moved its embassy to Jerusalem Monday, becoming the third country to make the move in the past week, after the United States and Guatemala moved their embassies to the capital on May 14 and 16, respectively.

Thanking Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the move “a great day for Israel, a great day for Paraguay, a great day for our friendship.”

Netanyahu said Israel would “never forget” that Paraguay had helped Jews escape Nazi Germany during the second World War and that it had supported the creation of Israel and the recognition of the State of Israel in the United Nations.

Paraguay, Netanyahu added, had, under Cartes’ leadership, taken a “bold stance” in international affairs and had “refused to cooperate with the lies directed against Israel.”

“We always remember that. Thank you Horacio. Thank you, and thank you Paraguay.” Netanyahu said.

Cartes said that moving the embassy to Jerusalem “expresses the sincere friendship and brave solidarity between Paraguay and Israel.”

“From the depth of my heart, I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children,” the Paraguayan president said.

Later Monday, Netanyahu will host Cartes at a reception at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Ahead of the opening of the embassy, foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon tweeted “These are extraordinary times in which our beloved capital receives its due international recognition. A great time for Israeli diplomacy and many more to come.

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