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News Brief

September 29, 2004
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Israel will reopen its embassy in Panama, which was closed in 2002 due to budget cuts. Israel’s Costa Rica-based ambassador to Panama, Alexander Ben-Zvi, said the embassy should be ready to open in early 2005.

In a statement, the Panamanian Foreign Ministry said it is “pleased” with the decision. Panama hosts a Jewish community of around 8,000, by far the largest Jewish community in Central America. After closing the embassy, the former embassy site was sold, but Ben-Zvi said Israel retained possession of a floor of an office building in Panama City that has sat vacant and will now be refurbished to house the reopened diplomatic delegation. Until the embassy reopens, Ben-Zvi will continue carrying out his duties from the embassy in San Jose, which also serves as the embassy to Nicaragua.

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