President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement of gratitude to Paraguay and ordered the immediate inauguration of the Palestinian embassy in the Latin America country’s capital of Asuncion, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has announced.
“This courageous move by the Paraguay government is an example for all countries in facing Israeli greed and attempts by the American administration to impose it on the world when it moved its embassy to Jerusalem in the so-called deal of the century,” the Palestinian official stated.
Abbas made the remark and issued the edict after Paraguay reversed its previous decision of opening an embassy in Jerusalem. The Palestinian leader has instructed the foreign minister to start the process of installing the embassy in the South American country.
“We also call upon the government of Guatemala to stand on the right side of history and move its embassy outside Jerusalem,” Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement urging the Central American country to follow suit.
“This is also time for the Trump administration to realize that no peace-loving country will follow their decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Only respecting international law and U.N. resolutions will help to achieve a just and lasting peace.”
Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez had described the decision of his predecessor to relocate the embassy as inappropriate. Abdo ordered that the embassy is moved back to Tel Aviv. The president also added that his country seeks a comprehensive, lasting and just peace between Israel and Palestine.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on hearing of Paraguay’s change of heart, gave instructions for the closure of the Israeli Embassy in Paraguay.
Netanyahu said the Paraguayan decision is a “very serious and exceptional decision” that will strain the relations between the two states.
Abdo remarked that true peace can only be achieved through abiding by International Law and United Nations resolutions.
The Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah thanked Paraguay: “We express our deep gratitude to Paraguay and the Paraguayan leadership for its wise decision to withdraw its embassy from the occupied city of Jerusalem which comes in respect to the rights of the Palestinian people international law UN resolutions.”
Paraguay, Guatemala and the United States had all relocated their embassies to Jerusalem earlier this year.