Paraguay embassy in Jerusalem
Paraguay embassy in Jerusalem

Paraguay opens its embassy in Jerusalem

ANI | Updated: May 21, 2018 21:19 IST

Jerusalem [Israel], May 21 (ANI): Paraguay on Monday officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the third country to do so after the United States and Guatemala.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the inauguration ceremony of the embassy at Malha Technological Park in the city. Both the leaders unveiled the new embassy's plaque, marking the move official, according to several media reports.
"You have done much for your country. Now you're doing something for both our countries. A great day for Israel, a great day for Paraguay - a great day for our friendship," Netanyahu told Cartes.
Cartes too called it a "historic event", adding that this occasion "is of special significance because it expresses the sincere friendship and brave solidarity between Paraguay and Israel", The Times of Israel reported.
Interestingly, Paraguay had an embassy in Jerusalem until 2012, when it was closed down due to "budgetary constraints." However, in 2013, then president-elect Cartes said that Paraguay would reopen its embassy in Tel Aviv.
Last month, the Paraguayan President said he wanted to relocate the country's embassy to Jerusalem before the end of his presidential term in August.
The move has been controversial back in Asuncion, where the next President Mario Abdo Benitez, due to swear-in in less than two months, claiming that "he wasn't consulted".
On May 16, Guatemala opened its embassy in Jerusalem, two days after the United States inaugurated its embassy.
Last Monday, in the presence of a US delegation, including US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a brand new US embassy was inaugurated at Jerusalem's Arnona area. Netanyahu expressed his gratitude towards Trump for the same.
Post the opening of the embassy, violent clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers at the Gaza Strip, resulting in the killing of 62 agitators. (ANI)