At WJC forum, Paraguayan President Cartes discusses Embassy move to Jerusalem: 'If you have any doubt, just read the Bible'

JERUSALEM - Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes was hosted Tuesday for a working breakfast by the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, which operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, and expressed satisfaction over the moving of his country’s embassy to Jerusalem the previous day. If anyone had any doubt about the appropriateness of the embassy move, Cartes said, “just read the Bible.” (c) Andras Lacko
 
Cartes added that this would be his final trip to Israel, as his term of office draws to a close, and called the visit “very emotional.”

“I see Israel and Paraguay being very close in the future,” Cartes said, and, hinting at the potential for cooperation, stressed that the economic position of his country is very strong.

Speaking after Cartes to the capacity audience, Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga called the embassy move a “great moment for the government headed by President Cartes,” and noted Paraguay’s links to Israel dating back to its support for the Partition Plan in 1947. Loizaga mentioned that Israel and Paraguay share common values such as “defending human rights, free press, democracy and the rule of law,” and as such, Paraguay feels an obligation to support Israel in international arenas such as the UN, when Israel is under scrutiny.

The visit was the president’s second to Israel; in July 2016 Cartes paid an official visit to Israel, the first Paraguayan president to do so.

ICFR President Dan Meridor welcomed Cartes, Loizaga, and the delegation of other senior officials. "We are happy to have [Cartes] here not only because he is a friend of Israel but for the occasion for which he visits Jerusalem now. Paraguay has moved its embassy to the most natural place that it should have been forever—the capital of the State of Israel: Jerusalem,” Meridor said. "It …is the president who made this historic decision and he deserves all our thanks for this important, although natural, act, that not many countries had the courage to do."

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