RIO DE JANEIRO — The government of Uruguay slammed Israel’s ambassador for using social media to criticize a statement by the country’s foreign minister that called Tel Aviv the capital of the Jewish state.
“Surprised and disappointed to hear the foreign minister declaring that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel. Capaz Salto is the capital of Uruguay? Israel has a capital, Jerusalem, for 70 years. The Knesset, the ministries, the residence of the prime minister and the president, the Supreme Court, are there,” Nina Ben-Ami tweeted in Spanish in her personal account last week.
Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay.
The ambassador was summoned to Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters “in order to provide explanations on her comments,” the ministry announced on Saturday. Ben-Ami was urged “to maintain government exchanges through the corresponding official channels,” reported the Aurora news website.
In an address last Wednesday from the White House, US President Donald Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.
The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.
Following the announcement, the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry expressed its “concern and discrepancy” with the decision of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision “does not contribute to the essential climate of peace and mutual respect necessary to reach a just, complete and lasting solution in the Middle East,” the ministry declared.
Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said Trump’s decision was “unnecessary” and “puts the peace and peaceful coexistence talks in an area that is already in turmoil.” He added that there is a UN resolution from 1980 “that urged all countries that had an embassy in Jerusalem to move to Tel Aviv.”
Uruguay is home to some 12,000 Jews, according to the Latin American Jewish Congress. It was the first country in South America to officially recognize Israel.