Paraguay helped Jews escape Nazi Germany. We will never forget this. You did this before the Holocaust, during the Holocaust, and after the Holocaust. It was an act of benevolence and mercy that is forever etched in our hearts. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Monday, 21 May 2018), along with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, attended the opening of the Paraguayan Embassy in Jerusalem (Malha Technology Park). Prime Minister Netanyahu and Paraguayan President Cartes unveiled the plaque and signed the guestbook.

 
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Paraguayan President Cartes then held a private meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
 
"I want to begin with a salute to a great friend of Israel and a great personal friend of mine, President Horacio Cartes Jara of Paraguay. Thank you, Horacio. You’re an unbelievable friend, and I have to say that this represents the friendship between our countries but you gave it personal expression.
 
You came here with a great delegation. We signed agreements. That was also a formal expression of something that was informal and from the heart. You came to see me in Buenos Aires, I don’t forget that, and now you come here to open the embassy. 
 
A great day for Israel, a great day for Paraguay, a great day for our friendship. You’ve done much for your country, much for your country, and now  you're  doing something for both our countries. And this follows the example and I would say the practice of Paraguay for many, many years. 
 
Paraguay helped Jews escape Nazi Germany. We will never forget this. You did this before the Holocaust, during the Holocaust and after the Holocaust. It was an act of benevolence and mercy that is forever etched in our hearts. 
 
Paraguay supported the creation of the State of Israel, the recognition of the State of Israel in the United Nations. We will never forget that. Paraguay, before but especially under your leadership, took a very bold stance in international affairs and refused to cooperate with the lies directed against Israel. We always remember that. Thank you Horacio . Thank you, and thank you Paraguay.
 
We have great cooperation and it’s going to get greater. We have delegations; I reviewed all the visitors, the parliamentarians, the experts, the ministers, the delegations that go back and forth. It’s time. It’s time to do a lot more. It’s time to let our cooperation, how should I say this, flow like water. We’re discussing water, we’re discussing agriculture, we’re discussing technology, we’re discussing security, but we’re doing and we want to do more, and we will do more. And because of this, you have not only the support of our government but the profound gratitude of the people of Israel. We remember our friends. We have no better friends than you. Thank you, Horacio. Thank you, Paraguay."
 
Paraguayan President Cartes :
 
"This occasion is of special significance because it expresses the sincere friendship and brave solidarity between Paraguay and Israel.
 
From the depth of my heart, I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children."
 
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Later in the afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, met with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes. The two met privately and then held an expanded meeting with their entourages. Among the subjects discussed were diplomatic and economic issues and strengthening agricultural, economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
 
 
"Welcome my friend. It's a pleasure to welcome President Cartes to Jerusalem on this historic day. You've been leading in so many areas and now you are also among the leaders who have put their embassy in Jerusalem, which has been the capital of our people for only 3,000 years. And you are a great friend and we welcome you in this spirit of deep friendship, a friendship from the heart."
 
 
"I am very moved by the decision of Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes to move Paraguay's embassy to Jerusalem. We have met several times. He told me 'I want to do this.' I told him 'Do it.' He did it. In a few weeks he will conclude his term of office and he told me 'Before the end of my term, as an expression of the friendship between Israel and Paraguay, I will move the embassy.' He spoke and he did. You have our heartfelt thanks."
 
 

 

PM Netanyahu with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes at the opening of the Paraguayan Embassy in Jerusalem.

Photo credit: Kobi Gideon (GPO)