Paraguay moving Israeli embassy back to Tel Aviv, after 4 months

Paraguay said Wednesday it’s moving its Israeli embassy back to Tel Aviv, just weeks after moving the consulate to Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes in Jerusalem, Israel, on May 21 after Cartes ordered his embassy to move to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Wednesday, it was announced new Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez will move the consulate back. File Photo by Sebastian Scheiner/EPA-EFE
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes in Jerusalem, Israel, on May 21 after Cartes ordered his embassy to move to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Wednesday, it was announced new Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez will move the consulate back. File Photo by Sebastian Scheiner/EPA-EFE

“Paraguay wants to contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts to achieve a broad, fair and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Paraguayan Foreign Minister Luis Castiglioni told reporters.

In response, Israel closed its embassy in the South American nation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhyahu on Wednesday raised concern about the move’s impact on diplomatic relations.

The timetable for the move was not specified.

In May, Paraguay became the third country – – and first in South America — to open an embassy in Jerusalem. The move followed similar action by the United States and Guatemala.

Netanyahu hailed the move, saying Paraguay was a “true friend” of Israel — and the nation was taking a “bold stance” in international affairs.

The Palestinian Authority said it convinced newly-elected Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez to reverse the decision to move away from Tel Aviv, which was made by his predecessor.

BySommer Brokaw