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Paraguay to return embassy back to Tel Aviv

Sept. 6, 2018 2:31 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2018 12:40 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Presidency welcomed Paraguay's decision to return its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv, on Wednesday, and described it as courageous.

Paraguay announced its decision to rescind its decision from May 21st to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and will return the embassy back to Tel Aviv, a massive step that upset Israel.

As a response to the decision, Israel announced its decision to close the Israeli embassy in Paraguay and recall its ambassador.

The Palestinian Presidency said in a statement that "this decision was in line with international resolutions and was the result of the wise and vigorous Palestinian diplomatic efforts to explain the dangers of the transfer of embassies to Jerusalem on the peace process in the Middle East and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

The statement stressed "this courageous move by the Paraguayan 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 Presidency also applauded all the countries that rejected the United States’ embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and labeled it as a threat to the entire peace process in the region.

Two weeks ago, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Malki, traveled to Paraguay to attend the inauguration of its new president, Mario Abdo Benitez, in order to demand that Paraguay return its embassy to Tel Aviv.

Malki and Benitez agreed to return the embassy to Tel Aviv. In return, Malki said he would not go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to challenge moving the embassy to Jerusalem, as it is currently doing with the US and Guatemala, the only two remaining countries that have moved their embassies to Jerusalem.

Paraguay's Foreign Minister, Luis Alberto Castiglioni, explained the decision to move the embassy once again "Paraguay wants to contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts to achieve a broad, fair and lasting peace in the Middle East."

Benitez posted a tweet on his Twitter account, which read "Paraguay is a country of principle. We will always be respectful with international law."

Malki continued to express gratitude to both Benitez and Castiglioni for their commitment to international law and to the United Nations Security Council resolutions, particularly the resolution of 1980, which bans countries from recognizing Israel's sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem or moving their embassies to it.

Malki concluded by confirming that Palestine will open an embassy in Paraguay and urged other countries to open their embassies in Paraguay to show solidarity.

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