Israel–Paraguay relations

Israel Paraguay Luis Castiglioni
Israel-Paraguay relations
Map indicating locations of Israel and Paraguay



Israel–Paraguay relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Israel and Paraguay. Both countries have full diplomatic relations since the middle of the 20th century, and each has been represented by a full embassy in the other, until 2018.


In 1947, Paraguay was one of the thirty-three countries to vote for the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, effectively paving way for the creation of Israel.[1] The two countries opened up diplomatic relations in 1949.[2]

Israel's embassy in Asunción was closed in 2002 due to budget cuts, although legal professionals in Israel alleged that it was on religious grounds.[3][4] It was reopened in July 2015.[4] In 2005, the Paraguayan embassy in Mevaseret Zion was closed, also due to budgetary constraints, and reopened in 2013 in Herzliya.

On May 21, 2018, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes announced that the Paraguayan embassy moved to Jerusalem, becoming the third country in the world, after the United States and Guatemala, to recognize the city as the diplomatic capital of Israel.[5] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greatly appreciated it; on the very day of the transfer, he attended the opening ceremony and there expressed an enduring friendship.[6] This was reversed in September 2018 by Cartes' successor, Mario Abdo Benítez. Foreign Minister Luis Castiglioni stated that "Paraguay wants to contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts to achieve a broad, fair and lasting peace in the Middle East."[7] Israel subsequently shut down its embassy [1] and cancelled a delegation aimed at aiding Paraguay’s economic development.[8]

Foreign aid

In January 2016, Israel sent aid to assist Paraguay in coping with the heavy flooding that had taken place there and had displaced about 100,000 people.[4] In June 2016, Netafim sent advanced drip irrigation systems to help Paraguay with a drought through Israel's embassy in Asunción.[9]

Trade relations

Israel's exports to Paraguay totaled US $6.69 million in 2014, focusing on electronics and minerals.[10] Paraguay's exports to Israel in the same year totaled US $145 million, made up almost exclusively of frozen meat and soybeans.[11]

In 2005, when Israel's exports to Paraguay totaled US $2.5 million, the two countries signed a mutual export agreement, which stipulated that each country would help increase mutual trade.[12] In 2010, Israel and Paraguay also agreed to cooperate on agriculture and signed as customs agreement.[13]

In 2015 it was reported that the Paraguayan Army purchased a number of Negev light machine guns from Israel Weapon Industries.[14]

High-level visits

See also


  1. ^ Hamilton, Thomas J. (1947). "ASSEMBLY VOTES PALESTINE PARTITION; MARGIN IS 33 TO 13; ARABS WALK OUT; ARANHA HAILS WORK AS SESSION ENDS". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Farber, Hadar (November 21, 2005). "Vice President of Paraguay in an Official Visit to Israel". News1 (in Hebrew). Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  3. ^ Halei, Charlotte (March 21, 2002). "Legal Professionals: The Paraguay Embassy is Being Closed Under Pressure from Shas". Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c JTA (January 7, 2016). "Israel aiding Paraguayans displaced by worst flooding in 50 years". The Times of Israel. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  5. ^ "Paraguay moves embassy to Jerusalem". Euronews. 2018-05-21. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  6. ^ "PM Netanyahu at the opening of the Paraguayan Embassy in Jerusalem". 2018-05-21. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  7. ^ "Outcry from Israel after Paraguay moves its Jerusalem embassy back to Tel Aviv". The Guardian. 2018-09-05. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  8. ^ Israel National News
  9. ^ "Irrigation Systems to Help Relieve Drought in Paraguay". The Tower Magazine. June 29, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  10. ^ "What does Israel export to Paraguay? (2014)". The Observatory of Economic Complexity. 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "What does Paraguay export to Israel? (2014)". The Observatory of Economic Complexity. 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  12. ^ "Cooperation Agreement Between Israel's Export Institute and Paraguay's Export Institute". Port2Port (in Hebrew). November 22, 2005. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  13. ^ "Trade Relations Israel–Paraguay". Israel Export Institute (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Rohkas Dumba, Avi (January 7, 2015). "Paraguayan Army Chose Israel Company IWI's Negev Machine Gun". IsraelDefense (in Hebrew). Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Abramson, Ran (November 7, 2013). "Paraguay Wants to Learn from Israel How to Improve Farmers' Situation". Calcalist (in Hebrew). Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  16. ^ Keinon, Herb (July 19, 2016). "PM: Israel doesn't take Paraguay's friendship for granted". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 21, 2016.