Colombia recognizes Palestine as sovereign state

Blanche Robertson
August 9, 2018

Colombia's new President Ivan Duque addresses the audience in Bogota, Colombia August 7, 2018.

Colombia recognised Palestine as a sovereign state in the days before new President Ivan Duque took office, according to a letter from the foreign ministry made public on Wednesday.

More than 130 countries have already recognize a Palestinian state, though none yet exists on the ground.

In response to the administration of President Donald Trump moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinians and Arab nations have called on world countries to recognise the State of Palestine with the eastern part of the Holy City as its capital.

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Israel, however, immediately slammed the last move by the outgoing Colombian administration, urging the new government to reverse the decision, which, according to Israeli embassy in Bogota, "contravenes the close relations, extensive cooperation in vital areas and interests of both countries".

New Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes said he would review the "implications" of the previous government´s decision, in accordance with worldwide law and good diplomatic practice.

Colombia's new president, Ivan Duque, took office on Tuesday in an inauguration ceremony attended by visiting USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

"This decision is deeply appreciated by the Palestinian people and their government, who have always seen Colombia and its people as indefatigable brothers in the search for peace", the Palestinian mission in Bogota said in its statement to EFE.

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