Colombia new government to review recognition of Palestine

Vastavam web: Colombia’s new government said it would review former President Juan Manuel Santos’ recognition of Palestine after the previously unreleased decision was made public on Wednesday.President Ivan Duque took office on Tuesday and was informed a few days ago of Santos’ decision, which was detailed in an Aug. 3 letter to the Palestinian representative in Colombia, the foreign ministry said.Santos decided to recognise Palestine as a “free, independent and sovereign state,” according to the letter, which was circulated to reporters by the foreign ministry.

“Just as the Palestinian people have a right to constitute an independent state, Israel has a right to live in peace alongside its neighbours,” the letter said. “We ask the Colombian government to reverse the decision made by the previous administration in its last days, which contravenes the close relations, extensive cooperation in vital areas and interests of both countries,” it said in a statement posted to its Twitter account.The decision came to light during a visit to Colombia by United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. She attended Duque’s inauguration on Tuesday and on Wednesday visited Venezuelan migrants in the northern border city of Cucuta.

“We thank the Colombian government for this decision and we are sure that it will contribute significantly to generating the necessary conditions in the search for peace in the Middle East,” the Palestine representative said in a statement on Wednesday.Palestine has been recognised as a sovereign state by the U.N. General Assembly, the International Criminal Court and at least 136 countries.

Colombia abstained in December from a vote by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on a resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favour.