Caracas — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Latin American countries Monday not to emulate the controversial US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
The United States is pushing ahead with plans to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv on May 14, a move that has sparked major protests by Palestinians, who consider east Jerusalem the capital of their future state.
“We hope that some countries across Latin America won’t go moving their embassies to Jerusalem, because that is against international law,” Abbas said during a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.
The Palestinian leader thanked ally Maduro for rejecting Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate its embassy, reversing decades of US policy in the region.
Guatemala has already announced it will relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, two days after the United States shifts its mission.
Paraguay government spokesman and the Israeli foreign ministry said on Monday, following the United States and Guatemala that Paraguay will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by the end of May, a
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest disputes between Israel, which says the city is its eternal and indivisible capital, and the Palestinians, who want the eastern part of the city as the capital of their own future state.
“Paraguay President Horacio Cartes plans to come to Israel by the end of the month to open an embassy in Jerusalem,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement.
A Paraguay government spokesman said Cartes was scheduling a trip to Israel to move the embassy on May 21 or May 22.
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally.
In March Guatemala’s president, Jimmy Morales, said that his country would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 16, two days after the US move.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in April that “at least half a dozen” countries were now “seriously discussing” following the US lead, but he did not identify them.
In December, 128 countries voted in a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution calling on the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Nine voted against, 35 abstained and 21 did not cast a vote.
Paraguay’s embassy is currently located near Tel Aviv.