Paraguay, which closed its embassy in Israel in 2005 for budgetary reasons, will
reopen its mission here in the coming weeks in a sign of interest in closer
bilateral ties, the Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes informed Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin
of the move on Wednesday during a meeting in Asuncion.
Israel at his inauguration ceremony on Thursday.
Israel closed its
embassy in Asuncion in 2002 as a cost-saving move, and is represented in the
South American country by its ambassador in Buenos Aires.
Ministry spokesman said that, despite the Paraguayan announcement, Israel had no
intention at this time of reopening its embassy in Paraguay.
closing consulates and embassies, not opening them,” the official said, adding
that the decision to open a consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu will
necessitate the closing of a mission somewhere else.
quoted Cartes as saying that he was interested in strengthening bilateral
relations with Israel as well as pursuing an “independent” policy of supporting
Israel in international forums, as opposed to the voting patterns of the vast
majority of Latin American states.
Paraguay and Colombia were the only
South American countries that did not vote for granting the Palestinians
non-member statehood status in the UN General Assembly last year.
is scheduled to travel on Friday to Brazil, where he will meet with Foreign
Minister Antonio Patriota next week. Patriota, who met with US Secretary of
State John Kerry on Tuesday, slammed Israel for settlement construction at a
joint press conference with Kerry.