Paraguay to open Jerusalem embassy next week
Outgoing President Horacio Cartes will open new embassy in the Israeli capital on Tuesday, following in footsteps of the US and Guatemala; Cartes vowed to move embassy before leaving office on Aug 15, president-elect Mario Abdo Benitez said wasn't consulted on matter.
Government spokesman Mariano Mercado said Cartes will leave for the trip to Israel on Saturday.
The decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been controversial in Paraguay.
Last month, Cartes announced his intentions to move the Paraguay embassy from Herzliya to Jerusalem before the end of his government's term on August 15.
The Paraguayan president surprised attendees with the announcement at an event celebrating Israel's 70th Independence Day in Asunción. Among the invitees were Israel's Ambassador to Paraguay Ze'ev Harel, Cartes' successor Mario Abdo Benitez, the vice president-elect Hugo Velazquez, the country's foreign minister and other dignitaries.
Benitez has said he wasn’t consulted about the embassy move.
Israel claims the entire city as its eternal capital. Palestinians want east Jerusalem as their future capital and were infuriated by the embassy moves.
Most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv and have balked at moving them until the international legal status of the city has been resolved.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in April that "at least half a dozen" countries were now "seriously discussing" following the US lead, but he did not identify them.