Israel Closes Paraguay Mission After Asunción Switches Embassy Back to Tel Aviv
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed the foreign ministry to close Israel’s embassy in Asunción Wednesday, after Paraguay did an about turn and announced it would move its embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem less than four months after making the switch in the opposite direction.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that it viewed the decision by Paraguay “very gravely” and that it would “cloud bilateral relations.”
“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 President Horacio Cartes.
Cartes was replaced by fellow conservative Mario Abdo Benítez in August.
Cartes opened the embassy in Jerusalem on May 21, following moves earlier that month by the United States and Guatemala.
Netanyahu called the move at the time “a great day for Israel, a great day for Paraguay, a great day for our friendship.”