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Paraguay, Israel to elevate relations to ‘new heights’

"I'm very happy to say that President Santiago Peña and I had a very productive discussion about upgrading the relations of Paraguay and Israel," stated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Paraguayan President Santiago Peña greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Sept. 19, 2023. Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO.
Paraguayan President Santiago Peña greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Sept. 19, 2023. Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

In a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Paraguayan President Santiago Peña reiterated the commitment that his country’s embassy will move to Jerusalem by the end of the year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli embassy will return to Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital. The agreement will lift Israeli-Paraguayan relations to “new heights,” per a readout from the prime minister’s office.

“I’m very happy to say that President Santiago Peña and I had a very productive discussion about upgrading the relations of Paraguay and Israel,” Netanyahu stated.

Peña stated that he was “very proud” to make the announcement.

“Prime minister, almost three years ago I visited Jerusalem. I was just a politician dreaming about a different Paraguay,” he stated. “I said to you in that meeting that Paraguay will reopen and will put the embassy where it belongs, in the city of Jerusalem.”

“Our history brought us together,” he added. “The present brings us together. But the future will have us more closer that we’ve been ever before.”

Paraguay was the third country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018, after former President Donald Trump moved the U.S. embassy and Guatemala followed suit.

But Paraguay returned its embassy to Tel Aviv months later, JNS has reported, setting off a diplomatic crisis with Israel, which then shuttered its embassy in Paraguay.

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