Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting with Marito Abdo Benítez, President of Paraguay, at his home in Asunción. During our meeting, we discussed several important issues—among them, Paraguay’s decision to relocate the Paraguayan Embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv, just months after it was moved to Jerusalem. President Benitez explained to me he and his country endorse the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace as is written in several UN resolutions, enumerating that the core issues, including Jerusalem, should be addressed through negotiations by the concerned parties. In our meeting, the President made it clear to me that he is an unequivocal supporter of Israel.
Despite the strained relations the Embassy affair has caused between Israel and Paraguay, I am optimistic that relations can move forward to the benefit of all parties. Israel plans to reinstate its ambassador to Paraguay in the near future—a positive sign for the improved relations between the two countries. I believe the U.S. and Israel have a role to play in Paraguay as it continues to develop under President Benítez’s leadership.
After concluding my visit to South America, I feel confident that the two Presidents I met with, Mauricio Macri of Argentina and Marito Abdo Benítez of Paraguay, have their countries’ and peoples’ best interest at heart, and are capable to lead the region forward in the years ahead. Especially in a time when Latin America is taking a more active role on the world stage, and when Israel is expanding its efforts to connect with Latin American nations, the potential for lasting partnership is greater than ever. Both men understand the potential of their countries to make a difference, and I am honored by the opportunity to have these meaningful conversations with them.
American Jewish Congress