Nicaragua, Israel Restore Diplomatic Relations

In this Dec. 21, 2015 photo, workers install a billboard supporting Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega. The banner’s message reads in Spanish: “Let’s move ahead! In good hope, in victories!” (AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)

Nicaragua announced overnight Tuesday that it was restoring diplomatic relations with Israel. The announcement came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in recent days that a Central American country that had broken off relations with Israel was planning to restore them, and upon the queries of Israeli journalists, the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry confirmed the matter.

In its statement, the Ministry said that Nicaragua and Israel both saw the restoration of relations as being “of great importance,” and that the two countries were renewing relations “with the aim of promoting joint activity for the welfare of both peoples and to contribute to the fight for peace in the world.” The two countries parted ways in 2010, when Nicaragua broke off relations in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident.

“Today we have relations with more than 160 countries, and this number keeps increasing,” Netanyahu said several days ago at a memorial service for former prime ministers who have passed away. “Next week another country will announce that it is restoring relations with Israel.”

A Channel Ten report said that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has been working on restoring relations with Nicaragua for some time, and is also seeking to restore relations with other Latin American nations, including Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. All three, along with Nicaragua, have been consistently pro-Palestinian, and the Ministry hopes to soften their stance with the restoration of relations.

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