Former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, who last May ordered the transfer of his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, is firmly opposed to the decision announced by his successor, Mario Abdo Benítez, to move the Paraguayan Embassy from the holy city to Tel Aviv.

The former president of the South American country stated in a Twitter message that “the values of the Judeo-Christian civilization were betrayed”, to “a friend” and also “the will and feeling of the Paraguayan people” due to the announcement of the transfer of the Paraguayan Embassy in Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

“Today a friend was betrayed! Today the will and feelings of the Paraguayan people were betrayed! Today the friendship between Paraguay and Israel was betrayed,” Cartes said, adding: “Every people who turned their backs on Israel paid dearly!

President. Mario Abdo Benítez and the former president of the Republic, Horacio Cartes. (Photo: Presidency of the Republic.)
President. Mario Abdo Benítez and the former president of the Republic, Horacio Cartes. (Photo: Presidency of the Republic.)

FAfter the announcement by the Paraguayan government to reverse the opening-up of the embassy in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority expressed its appreciation for the decision it described as “brave::.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced that the Palestinian Authority would “immediately” open an embassy in Paraguay. Al-Maliki called on Arab countries to follow in his footsteps and strengthen cooperation with the South American state.

The Palestinian foreign minister was in Paraguay a few weeks ago, where he had the opportunity to meet with Paraguayan Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Castiglioni and express his position against the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem. In his official statement, al-Maliki described the Paraguayan decision as a “diplomatic success”.

According to various sources in Israel, the Palestinians exerted great pressure on the government of Mario Abdo Benitez to reverse the decision of former President Horacio Cartes.

Israel reacted with great disappointment to Castiglioni’s announcement, and Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the closure of the Israeli embassy in Paraguay. In an official statement from the Israeli president’s office, that ”Israel views with utmost gravity the extraordinary decision by Paraguay which will cloud bilateral relations”.