PM Netanyahu meets with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes
President: ‘Occasion is of special significance because it expresses sincere friendship and brave solidarity between Paraguay and Israel.’
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes this afternoon at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. The two met privately and then held an expanded meeting with their entourages. Among subjects discussed were diplomatic and economic issues and strengthening agricultural, economic, and commercial cooperation between the two countries.
“Welcome my friend,” Prime Minister Netanyahu greeted his guest. “It’s a pleasure to welcome President Cartes to Jerusalem on this historic day. You’ve been leading in so many areas and now you are also among the leaders who have put their embassy in Jerusalem, which has been the capital of our people for only 3,000 years. And you are a great friend and we welcome you in this spirit of deep friendship, a friendship from the heart.
“I am very moved by the decision of Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes to move Paraguay’s embassy to Jerusalem. We have met several times. He told me ‘I want to do this.’ I told him ‘Do it.’ He did it. In a few weeks he will conclude his term of office and he told me ‘Before the end of my term, as an expression of the friendship between Israel and Paraguay, I will move the embassy.’ He spoke and he did. You have our heartfelt thanks.”
Cartes was in Jerusalem today for the official dedication of the embassy, located in the Technological Park of southern Jerusalem’s Malha neighborhood. The Guatemalan embassy opened in the same neighborhood on May 16. More embassies are set to open in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said today.
Cartes and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled the official plaque for the building.
Paraguay previously had an embassy in a Jerusalem suburb, which was closed on 2012 in retaliation for Israel closing its diplomatic mission in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion as part of a round of budget cuts. A new Paraguayan embassy opened a year later in the coastal city of Herzliya.
Cartes, who will leave office in mid-August when a new government takes over, announced late last month during an event in the capital Asuncion marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day that he planned to move the embassy before the end of his term. It is not known if Cartes consulted with President-elect Mario Abdo Benítez before announcing the move.
“This occasion is of special significance because it expresses the sincere friendship and brave solidarity between Paraguay and Israel,” Cartes said at the dedication.