Paraguay president inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he stands next to Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes at Netanyahu's office Monday. Reuters
Updated 22 May 2018
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Paraguay president inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem

  • Israeli forces killed nearly 60 Palestinians in clashes along the border
  • Several European countries summoning the Israeli ambassadors to their foreign ministries for questioning

JERUSALEM: Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes inaugurated his country’s Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, making it the third nation to make the deeply controversial move after the US and Guatemala.
Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the inauguration of the new embassy in a Jerusalem office park.
The Paraguayan leader called it a “historic event.”
“This act has profound significance in the sense that it expresses Paraguay’s sincere friendship and full solidarity with Israel,” he said.
Netanyahu said cooperation between the two countries would become “greater,” naming areas such as agriculture, security and technology.

Consensus
The South American nation of some seven million people follows in the footsteps of the US which broke with decades of international consensus when it declared Jerusalem Israel’s capital in December.
Washington followed up on the declaration by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14.
The US Embassy opening was accompanied by mass protests and clashes along the Gaza border that saw 62 Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire.
Israel has sought to persuade other countries to follow the White House move, but so far only Paraguay and Guatemala have done so.

Capital
Guatemala opened its new embassy in the same Jerusalem office park as Paraguay’s on May 16.
Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.


Iraqi forces clear farmland near Baghdad of Daesh militants

Updated 38 min 22 sec ago
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Iraqi forces clear farmland near Baghdad of Daesh militants

  • A military helicopter flew over army units in the area as troops on the ground searched for weapon caches and bombs

TARAMIYAH: Iraqi security forces are sweeping villages and farmland north of Baghdad as part of an operation aimed at clearing remaining militants belonging to the Daesh group from around the country’s capital.
A military helicopter flew over army units in the area as troops on the ground searched for weapon caches and bombs in farmland in Taramiyah on Tuesday. The area is about 50 kilometers, or 31 miles, north of Baghdad.
The dragnet is part of the operation dubbed “Will to Victory,” which started two weeks ago along the border with Syria and was extended last week to areas north of Baghdad and in the Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar provinces.
Although Iraq declared victory against IS in July 2017, the extremists continue to carry out attacks around the country.