JERUSALEM – Outgoing Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes told EFE on Tuesday he believed his successor would not move his country’s embassy to Israel from Jerusalem, to where it was recently relocated from Tel Aviv.
Cartes said he had not negotiated with President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez the controversial decision made towards the end of his five-year term on Aug. 15, 2018.
“The constitution gives the president this power and you do not have to consult with anyone,” Cartes said during a breakfast meeting organized by the World Jewish Congress.
“Benitez will be in charge in mid-August and he will not have us as adversaries but rather comrades,” he added.
Cartes said the relocation was to make “historic repairs” after a 1980 United Nations Security Council resolution ordered members to move their embassies from Jerusalem, in line with international consensus not to recognize the city as Israel’s capital until its status was established through negotiations.
“I recommend those who have doubts to read the bible. You will find out the capital has always been here, in Jerusalem,” the 61-year-old said.
Paraguay inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, following in the footsteps of the United States and Guatemala, which recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, though a large part of the international community opposes this stance.
Palestinians see East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and annexed in 1980, as the capital of their future state.
On May 14, tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip against the US embassy’s inauguration, and were met with live ammunition and tear gas by the Israeli army, which killed over 60 Palestinians and injured more than 3,100 along the Gaza-Israel boundary.