Paraguay will relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of the year, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, announced today.
According to The Times of Israel, the announcement came hours after Paraguayan President, Santiago Peña, was officially inaugurated at a ceremony in the capital, Asunción, attended by a number of leaders and politicians, including Cohen.
“The opening of the Paraguayan embassy in Jerusalem, along with the Israeli embassy in Asunción will strengthen Israel’s regional and international position as well as the important ties between the countries,” said Cohen.
“We will continue and strengthen the important historical connection with the countries of Latin America, which have long stood by the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” he added.
It comes after Paraguay originally supported former US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel in 2018 and its subsequent plans to move the US embassy there. It then planned to make the same move, along with other nations within the US sphere of influence, such as Guatemala.
However, following the election and swearing in of Paraguay’s new President, Mario Abdo Benitez later that year, the country reversed its decision.
In response, Israel retaliated by shutting down its own embassy in Paraguay, in addition to recalling Israel’s ambassador to Asunción.
Should Peña indeed proceed with the move, Paraguay would become the fifth country to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, following Kosovo, Honduras, Guatemala and the United States.
“We’re continuing to strengthen the international status of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” Cohen concluded in his statement.