US Pence urges Paraguay to not relocate embassy

US Vice President Mike Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence

Media captionWhy the fashioned metropolis of Jerusalem is so importantParaguay's new govt has announced that this might possibly transfer its embassy in Israel abet to Tel Aviv - correct three months after transferring it to Jerusalem.

It was US President Donald Trump, who had recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December past year, that had set in motion the plan of a very few countries to follow suit.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas celebrated as "courageous" the reversal, which will be a setback to the momentum Israel had hoped to build after the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds in May.

In a readout of a call on Wednesday between the two men, the White House said Pence had "strongly encouraged" Abdo Benitez to stick to "Paraguay's previous commitment to move the embassy as a sign of the historic relationship the country has maintained with both Israel and the United States".

He said Paraguay would "stick to worldwide law and the United Nations' resolution that still considers it a territory in conflict" between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel has announced that it is closing down its embassy in Paraguay.

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By opening the embassy, Turkey is expressing support for Paraguay's stance on Israel, Paraguay's Foreign Minister Luis Castiglioni told reporters.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, had previously called for Latin American countries not to move their embassies.

Most countries do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city since it goes against worldwide law and treaties, and which undermines the prospects for peace in the region.

The new president, however, rushed to defend his move by stressing that "Paraguay is a country of principles", which strives to achieve "broad, lasting and just peace" between Israelis and Palestinians by following global law.

The statement did not say how Abdo responded to Pence's request. Palestinian leaders regard east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and most countries avoid the recognition of... "One of the most complex components of the conflict [between Israel and the Palestinians] is the status of Jerusalem", Castiglioni said, and Paraguay believes it should be negotiated between the parties involved - a position still held by most nations, according to The Associated Press. Negotiations between the two sides broke down in 2014.

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