ASUNCION – The government of Paraguay announced on Wednesday that it will move its embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv, revoking the decision made by the previous administration to establish the Paraguayan Embassy in Jerusalem.
“The government of the Republic of Paraguay considers that it is important to reestablish its embassy in Israel in its original location prior to the announcement made on May 9, 2018,” Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Castiglioni said, reading from a statement.
Castigloni, who spoke to journalists after meeting with President Mario Abdo Benitez, said that the embassy’s change of location will be carried out “immediately.”
Israel responded to Asuncion’s decision by announcing the closure of the Israeli Embassy in the Paraguayan capital and warning that Paraguay’s action would “cloud bilateral relations.”
Paraguay considers that the status of Jerusalem “should be addressed by the parties involved through negotiations, in accordance with provisions laid out by international institutions,” Castigloni said.
In May, Paraguay became the third country – after the United States and Guatemala – to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with decades of international consensus on the status of the Holy City, the eastern part of which has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day war of 1967.
Abdo Benitez, then president-elect, said that he would revise the decision made by incumbent Horacio Cartes.
Castiglioni said Wednesday that the previous administration’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem “was absolutely unilateral and made without the proper consultations and without any elements or arguments based on international law.”