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PLO officials applaud Paraguay's decision

Sept. 6, 2018 3:42 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 7, 2018 12:19 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian officials applauded, on Thursday, Paraguay's decision to relocate its embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv, following four months after its move to Jerusalem, and said Paraguay acted in accordance with international law.

Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, said "we commend Paraguay's decision to act in accordance with its obligations under international law by closing its embassy in Jerusalem and relocating it to Tel Aviv."

He added that "President Mario Abdo Benitez's courageous decision shows that the government of Asunci n has chosen to go back to the traditional Latin American position of respect for international law and UN resolutions."

Erekat called upon the countries that have supported Palestine, specifically Arab countries, to look together into ways to encourage cooperation and bilateral relations with Paraguay.

He also called on Guatemala, the second country to have moved its embassy following the United States, "to stand on the right side of history and move its embassy outside of Jerusalem."

Erekat stressed that "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 UN resolutions will help achieving a just and lasting peace."

On May 14th, the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This move was immediately followed by Guatemala and then Paraguay.

PLO Executive Committee member, Hanan Ashrawi, also welcomed Paraguay's decision to move its embassy back to Tel Aviv.

She said in a statement "on behalf of the PLO Executive Committee, we wish to express our gratitude to Paraguay for moving its embassy back from occupied Jerusalem to Tel Aviv."

Ashrawi explained "such a courageous move is consistent with international law and UN resolutions and constitutes a positive contribution towards achieving a just peace. It sends a strong message that responsible governments will not surrender to political blackmail or threats that try to coerce them to violate international law and generate further instability and conflict."

Ashrawi said "Jerusalem is a linchpin of peace and the capital of the state of Palestine, and Israel's annexation remains illegal and unacceptable to all those who accept the global rule of law."

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