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Archive for Paraguay

Newsline: Paraguay president inaugurates Israel embassy in Jerusalem

Paraguay opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem, the second country to follow the United States in making the politically sensitive move from Tel Aviv. Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the inauguration ceremony on Monday. The US relocated its embassy to Jerusalem a week ago, drawing Palestinian and international anger, and was followed by Guatemala on Wednesday.



Newsline: Paraguay to open Jerusalem embassy next week

Paraguay’s government says President Horacio Cartes will open the country’s new embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Tuesday, following similar steps by the United States and Guatemala. Government spokesman Mariano Mercado says Cartes will leave for the trip on Saturday. The decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been controversial in Paraguay. It comes less than two months before Mario Abdo Benitez replaces Cartes, and the president-elect has said he wasn’t consulted. Most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv and have balked at moving them until the international legal status of the city has been resolved.


Newsline: Honduras, Paraguay expected to join embassy move to Jerusalem

After Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced Sunday night his country will be transferring its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel is surmising that another one or two other countries will be joining US President Donald Trump in making the move. According to initial assessments, Guatemala’s eastern neighbor Hondorus will be one of the countries, while Paraguay is also expected to join the trickle of embassies flowing into Jerusalem. The two Central American countries, Honduras and Guatemala, were among the seven countries that voted with the US and Israel against a United Nations General Assembly resolution last Thursday which declared Trump’s declaration “null and void.” Paraguay abstained from the vote, despite having demonstrated in the past its particularly pro-Israel disposition.


Newsline: Venezuela Reopens Embassy in Paraguay

Venezuela has reopened its embassy in the Paraguayan capital 18 months after breaking off relations to protest the removal of Paraguay’s leader. The Venezuelan Embassy in Asuncion was closed in July 2012 after Paraguay’s congress impeached and ousted President Fernando Lugo, who was an ally of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The embassy reopened Monday.


Newsline: Paraguay to reopen embassy in Israel

Paraguay, which closed its embassy in Israel in 2005 for budgetary reasons, will reopen its mission here in the coming weeks in a sign of interest in closer bilateral ties, the Foreign Ministry announced. Newly elected Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes informed Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin of the move during a meeting in Asuncion. Elkin represented Israel at his inauguration ceremony on Thursday. Israel closed its embassy in Asuncion in 2002 as a cost-saving move, and is represented in the South American country by its ambassador in Buenos Aires. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that, despite the Paraguayan announcement, Israel had no intention at this time of reopening its embassy in Paraguay. “We are closing consulates and embassies, not opening them,” the official said, adding that the decision to open a consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu will necessitate the closing of a mission somewhere else. Paraguay and Colombia were the only South American countries that did not vote for granting the Palestinians non-member statehood status in the UN General Assembly last year.


Newsline: Chilean Ambassador returns to Paraguay

Chile reinstated its ambassador to Paraguay, Christián Maquiera, in Asunción. Maquiera was recalled in June after member states of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) decided to withdraw their ambassadors in protest at the removal of President Fernando Lugo. The Chilean Foreign Ministry announced that Maquiera would return with “the special objective of obtaining first-hand information about the situation in Paraguay and the electoral process in the run-up to the elections of April 21, 2013” and has been instructed to “make contact with all social and political sectors of Paraguay.” President Franco welcomed the news. “It’s a very good sign for us,” he told IP Paraguay. “The more ambassadors that come, the better for the country.” Columbia also announced the return of its ambassador, Jorge Barrales, this weekend. Columbia and Chile are the first countries to resume diplomatic relations with Paraguay since Lugo’s ousting.


Newsline: Paraguay diplomats ordered to leave Venezuela

Venezuela’s government has decided to expel Paraguay’s remaining diplomats from the country, the top envoy at the Paraguayan Embassy said Wednesday. Charge d’affaires Victor Casartelli said that he and three other Paraguayan diplomats in Caracas were told by Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry to leave within three days. Venezuelan government officials did not respond to calls seeking comment about the matter. Casartelli said that he received a call Tuesday from the Foreign Ministry informing him of the decision and that he met Wednesday with Venezuelan officials who confirmed that the four should go. The expulsion of Paraguay’s diplomats follows a bitter dispute between the countries that began in June with the congressional impeachment and ouster of Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. In July, the two governments withdrew their ambassadors amid rising tensions over Lugo’s removal. Chavez later said he had ordered his country’s military attaches to leave Paraguay, citing threats against diplomats. Casartelli said he was told by Venezuelan officials that when their government withdrew its diplomats, “they were waiting for Paraguay to do the same thing with us.” Since months passed and Paraguay didn’t follow suit, Venezuelan officials decided to expel the remaining diplomats, Casartelli said. He said in a phone interview that he and the other three diplomats had made plans to leave this week. One Paraguayan Embassy employee who is not a diplomat will be allowed to remain to perform consular duties, Casartelli said.