By Middle East Affairs
The Palestine Authority wants the Arab world and its Islamic allies to shun Guatemala and Paraguay, for their decision to follow U.S’s steps in relocating their embassies to Jeresulam.
Paraguay has embassies in Lebanon, Qatar, Morocco, and Egypt, while Guatemala has envoys in Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey, diplomatic relations that should be severed, said one Palestinian official to Haaretz.
He said that, “A similar request was made regarding America after it relocated its embassy, but it was clear that no Arab nation would cut its ties with the U.S. However, with countries like Guatemala and Paraguay, it may be possible and that can serve as leverage over other countries that are thinking about doing the same thing.”
Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the official ceremony of Paraguay’s new embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. The embassy is located in Malkha technology park, nearby the Guatemalan embassy.
Earlier this month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked Latin American countries to remember that East Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital, and not to move their embassies from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
At the opening of Paraguay’s embassy, the third country to relocate to Jerusalem, Netanyahu referenced history and said, “Paraguay helped Jews escape Nazi Germany. We will never forget this.” In reality, Paraguay also offered safety to Josef Mengele and many other Nazi fugitives.
Cartes responded in return,”From the depth of my heart, I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children.”
Netanyahu in his speech told Paraguay that the two countries “have great cooperation and it will be even better… We have no better friends than you.”
Abbas on a visit to Venezuela earlier this month said that most countries are respectful of East Jeresulam as Palestine’s capital. In a speech in the capital in Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that his government was a friend to Arab people, and it backs “the cause of a free, independent and peaceful Palestine.”