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News > Latin America

Abbas to Latin America: 'Don't Move Embassies to Jerusalem'

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas receives an honorary doctorate at a university in Caracas, Venezuela, May 8, 2018.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas receives an honorary doctorate at a university in Caracas, Venezuela, May 8, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 May 2018

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is urging governments across Latin America not to follow the United States by relocating their embassies to Jerusalem. 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked Latin America's heads of state to refrain from relocating their embassies to Jerusalem after Paraguay announced plans to follow in the controversial footsteps of the United States.

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During a two-day visit to Venezuela, Abbas made his comments after Guatemala and Paraguay fell into line with U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to relocate from Tel Aviv. Honduras is also considering a similar move, but has yet to confirm.

"We hope that some countries across Latin America won't go moving their embassies to Jerusalem because that is against international law," Abbas said while meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.

Maduro denounced Trump's decision to transfer the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as of May 14: "We express our interest… that Palestine be accepted as a full country of the United Nations."

Trump announced the move in December to underscore his administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The international community condemned it as legitimizing the Israeli government's 1967 illegal occupation and 1980 annexation of eastern Jerusalem, which the rest of the world still acknowledges as a part of Palestine.

Abbas said: "We reaffirm our interest in having serious negotiations with Israel based on the international resolutions and laws and the importance of forming an international multilateral instrument and to continue working so that Palestine is accepted as a full country in the United Nations."

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes will travel to Israel this month, but didn't specify a date.

Abbas was awarded an honorary doctorate from a Caracas university in a ceremony today. He is due to visit his Cuban and Chilean counterparts before heading back to Palestine later this week.  

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