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Colombia Recognizes "Palestine" as a State, Israel "Disappointed and Surprised"The decision was made unexpectedly and was made known to the public only after the new Colombian president, Iván Duque, took office.
Before handing over power, the government of Juan Manuel Santos recognized the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign state. The decision was made unexpectedly and was made known to the public only after the new Colombian president, Iván Duque, took office. The Israeli embassy in Colombia was "disappointed and surprised" by the decision.
The new chancellor of Colombia, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, declared that: "In the event of possible omissions that could arise from the way in which this decision was made by the outgoing president, the Government will carefully examine its implications and act in accordance with international law."
The decision was published in a statement by María Ángela Holguín, Colombia's chancellor during the two terms of Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018). In the official letter, dated August 3, Holguin writes to his Palestinian counterpart Riad Malki: "We are aware of the difficulties and sufferings that the Palestinian population has faced. We also recognize that for the gradual construction of its State the unity of the Palestinian nation is an imperative and we hope that the internal conditions continue to be given to overcome the challenges that arise along the way ".
Colombia along with Panama was the only country in Latin America that had not recognized the Palestinian state.
Statement from the Embassy of Israel in Colombia
"The Israeli embassy is very disappointed and surprised both by the previous government's decision to recognize Palestine as a state, and by the way it was taken. We should expect a friendly government to inform the other in advance about a policy change so crucial for its ally. "
He added that it is "a slap in the face of a faithful ally, which contradicts the quality of relations and the closeness between countries and their leaders." The communiqué concludes with a request to the new government of Iván Duque: "we request the Colombian government to reverse the decision of the previous administration in its last days, which is in contravention of the close relations, the broad cooperation in vital areas and the interests of both peoples. "
In the past, President Santos said that on several occasions he was pressured to recognize the Palestinian state, but that he believed that only through negotiations should such recognition be given.
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