BOGOTA – Colombia became on Wednesday the last South American country to recognize Palestine as a “free, independent and sovereign” state, a decision taken by the former administration, while the country’s new foreign minister said the relevant implications will be analyzed.
In a letter dated Aug. 3, former Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, who left office Tuesday, informed her then Palestinian counterpart, Riad Malik, of Colombia’s decision.
The Colombian foreign ministry acknowledged in the letter the difficulties and sufferings that the Palestinian people have faced and recognized that it is imperative to unite the Palestinian nation.
Holguin added in the letter that “just as the Palestinian people have the right to constitute an independent state, Israel has the right to live in peace alongside its neighbors” and wished that Palestine overcomes the challenges.
In this regard, she reiterated that her country has been aware of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, so she stressed that for 70 years Colombia has demonstrated its unchanging interest and has supported the resolutions that deal with the Palestinian issue in the United Nation.
The Palestinian diplomatic mission in Bogota thanked Colombia for its decision, a country that Palestine has always seen as a brother, “tireless in the search for peace.”
“The decision to recognize is synonymous with a profound work of rapprochement between the Colombian and Palestinian governments, an effort that is bearing fruit today and will undoubtedly be strengthened in the near future for the good of both peoples,” the mission said in a statement.
The statement added that Colombia’s decision will contribute “significantly” to generating the necessary conditions in the search for peace in the Middle East.
The new government of President Ivan Duque, who assumed office on Tuesday, will analyze the implications of the decision taken by the previous administration of Juan Manuel Santos so as to take the steps that correspond to Colombia’s interests, according to the new foreign minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo.
The minister said that the new government was made aware of that letter on Wednesday, although the Santos administration informed him of such a decision a few days before its term ended.