Mike Pence lobbies Paraguay on Jerusalem embassy move

The vice president's office said the two "agreed to work towards achieving a [comprehensive] and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

September 6, 2018 22:52
United States Vice President Mike Pence

United States Vice President Mike Pence. (photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)


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US Vice President Mike Pence spoke with Paraguay's president, Mario Abdo Benitez, on Thursday hoping to convince him to roll back his move to relocate the country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Trump administration has been lobbying foreign governments to follow its lead after it announced last year that it would move the US embassy there. A temporary US embassy facility opened in Jerusalem in May.

Pence "strongly encouraged President Abdo Benitez to follow through with Paraguay’s previous commitment to move the embassy as a sign of the historic relationship the country has maintained with both Israel and the United States," the White House said.

The vice president's office also said the two "agreed to work towards achieving a [comprehensive] and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Pence strongly advocated for the US embassy move, bucking several national security officials, who warned of violent and diplomatic regional fallout. Trump says the action took Jerusalem "off the table" in negotiations toward a lasting peace agreement, but the Palestinians have refused to talk to him ever since he enacted the policy in December 2017.

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