Paraguay will follow the lead of US President Donald Trump and move the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. The news has not been confirmed by Paraguay’s foreign ministry, which said that a final decision on the move is yet to be made.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes said in April he would be willing to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem. A spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon, said in a statement that Cartes plans to come to Israel to open the new embassy “by the end of the month.”
The move will make Paraguay the third country to open its embassy in Jerusalem this month. The US embassy will open on May 14, while Guatemala will open its diplomatic HQ in the city on May 16.
Trump’s decision on December 6 to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital sparked protests in Palestine and around the world. Protesters came out in their thousands in Turkey, Jordan and Indonesia.
The status of Jerusalem, which is home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites, is one of the most contentious issues between the Israelis and Palestinians. Israel considers Jerusalem its rightful capital, while Palestine considers the eastern part of Jerusalem as its own “occupied” capital since it was captured by Israel in 1967 – a move which was not recognized by the international community.