According to Paraguayan officials, the country will inaugurate its new Jerusalem embassy in November as a symbol of the region’s growing affinity for Israel.
The decision was made as several nations have recently expressed a desire to shift their diplomatic missions to Israel’s capital using faith-based diplomacy.
The office will open by the end of the year, according to Santiago Pea, the president of Paraguay, who will travel to Israel for the opening of the embassy.
Prior to the UN General Assembly in New York earlier this month, he had a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During their “excellent meeting,” Pea said in a press conference from the White House, the two leaders discussed the move as well as a number of bilateral issues.
At the meeting in New York, Pea said to Netanyahu, “Our history has brought us together.” We are together in the now.
However, the coming years will bring us closer together than ever. Following in the footsteps of then-President Donald Trump, Paraguay first relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018, becoming the third nation to do so after the United States and Guatemala.
But a few months later, a new administration moved the embassy back to Tel Aviv, sparking a diplomatic row with Israel. Israel abruptly closed its embassy in Paraguay as a result of the Paraguayan move, citing harm to bilateral relations.
Pea promised to move the embassy back to Jerusalem when running for office in Paraguay this year. In March, he declared, “The State of Israel recognizes Jerusalem as its capital.” “The president and the parliament both have offices in Jerusalem. Who are we to criticize their choice of location for their capital, then?”
Since its vote in favor of the establishment of the Jewish state at the United Nations in 1947, landlocked Paraguay, one of the poorest nations in South America, has been friends with Israel.
There are currently embassies for the US, Guatemala, Honduras, Kosovo, and Papua New Guinea in the capital of Israel. Due to political sensitivity surrounding the capital, the remaining 175 nations that have relations with Israel continue to keep their embassies in Tel Aviv or in its environs.
Another country is anticipated to make a similar declaration soon after former President Donald Trump’s historic decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in 2018 laid the stage for other governments to follow suit in the years that followed.