Paraguay to Relocate Embassy to Jerusalem by Month's End, President to Attend

President Horacio Cartes will attend opening ceremony, Israel's Foreign Minister confirms one week before U.S. moves its embassy

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Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes and Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuCredit: GPO, Koby Gideon
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

Paraguay will move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of May, Israel's Foreign Minister confirmed on Monday, exactly one week before the U.S. will officially open its embassy in the city. President Horacio Cartes will attend the opening ceremony.

Cartes announced a few weeks ago that Paraguay will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before the end of his presidential term in about three months.

The announcement came at an event celebrating Israel's Independence Day at the Israeli embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay.

>> Will Trump come and what's actually moving: What you need to know about next week's U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem

Guatemala's embassy moved to Jerusalem last week. The official ceremony celebrating the move will take place on May 16, two days after the United States relocates its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with the likely attendance of Guatemalean president Jimmy Morales.

At least three "U.S. Embassy" road signs went up in Jerusalem on Monday ahead of next week's opening of the mission in the city next week, a Reuters witness said.

The signs, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, were installed by workmen close to the south Jerusalem location of a U.S. consulate building that will be repurposed as the embassy when it is officially relocated on May 14.

"This is not a dream - it's reality! This morning, I am proud and excited to install the first signs for the U.S. embassy, which will open next week in Jerusalem," Mayor Nir Barkat posted on Facebook, adding "I thank President Trump for making this historic moment come to fruition."

A worker holds a road sign pointing to the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, in 2018. REUTERS/Ronen ZvulunCredit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Saturday that relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem will "will come at a price," but added that it was a price "worth paying."

"Nothing comes for free," the defense chief said, "and the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will come at a price and it is worth paying it. We should be prepared to pay a price."

U.S. President Donald Trump said last month that he still "may go" to the ceremony in Jerusalem celebrating the opening of the American embassy, and bragged about saving money by rejecting an initial proposal to devote $1 billion for the construction of a new embassy, and replacing it with a significantly more moderate plan costing close to $400,000 instead.

Kushner and Ivanka Trump are expected to represent the U.S. administration at the opening ceremony, Israeli officials confirmed last month. American senators and members of the House of Representatives will attend, too. 

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