Colombia to Open Embassy in Occupied West Bank

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, 27 May 2024

The Cradle News Desk - TRANSCEND Media Service

Roger Waters with Palestinian flag.  Photo: @infopresidencia

Bogota recently cut ties with Israel over the genocidal war in Gaza and has been working with other Latin American nations to grant Palestine full UN membership.

23 May 2024 – The Colombian government announced on 22 May plans to open an embassy in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the occupied West Bank, under the orders of President Gustavo Petro.

“President Petro has given the order that we open the Colombian embassy in Ramallah, the representation of Colombia in Ramallah, that is the next step we are going to take,” Foreign Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo told reporters yesterday.

Murillo also said Petro recently led a meeting of Latin American leaders in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where they agreed to implement strategies to recognize Palestine as a full UN member state.

​​“We are sure that more and more countries will recognize Palestine, and this is nothing against Israel or the Jews,” the Colombian foreign minister said. “The United Nations agreed in the context of the Oslo agreements that a two-state solution will be created, and if two states are needed, Palestine needs to be recognized as a full state,” he added.

At the start of this month, Petro officially cut ties with Israel over the genocide being perpetrated in Gaza.

“The world could be summed up in one word that vindicates the necessity of life: Gaza. It is called Palestine; it is called the boys, girls, and babies who have died dismembered by the bombs,” the Colombian president declared on 2 May. “If Palestine dies, humanity dies, and we are not going to let it die any more than we are going to let humanity die,” Petro added.

As Colombia’s first-ever leftist leader, Petro has been a vocal critic of Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza. Days after Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, Petro accused Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant of using language similar to what the “Nazis said of the Jews,” which prompted Tel Aviv to halt security exports to Colombia.

Bogota’s latest announcement came on the same day that Spain, Ireland, and Norway announced they would jointly recognize the State of Palestine on 28 May. Colombia officially recognized Palestine as a state on 3 August 2018, during the government of Juan Manuel Santos.

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