Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered the closure of Israel’s embassy in Paraguay after Paraguay announced that it was moving its mission back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem.
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“Israel views with utmost gravity the extraordinary decision by Paraguay, which will cloud bilateral relations between two nations,” Benjamin Netanyahu’s office retorted on Twitter.
Paraguay, though, pointed to a continued history of strong relations with Israel. “I don’t think this should annoy our Israeli brothers and friends,” said Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Luis Castiglioni.
“There are over 85 nations that have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv and we’re historic allies of Israel. “Don’t forget that Paraguay’s vote was crucial in the creation of Israel.”
Paraguay’s declaration that it was moving the embassy back to Tel Aviv came little more than three months after it had shifted it to Jerusalem following a similar move by Washington.
In May, then-president of Paraguay Horacio Cartes met Benjamin Netanyahu after his country opened their embassy in Jerusalem. His successor President Mario Abdo Benitez, who took office in August, decided to move it back to Tel Aviv “to contribute to the intensification of diplomatic attempts that aim to achieve a broad, fair and long-lasting peace in the Middle East.”