Colombia’s stance on Palestine is “irreversible,” newly elected President Ivan Duque said, reaffirming his support for the state during an interview with Caracol Radio Monday.
Duque said that though Colombia would have benefited from an institutional discussion with the Foreign Affairs Advisory Committee, he plans to stand by the decision made by his predecessor and outgoing president, Juan Manuel Santos.
Colombia, South America's last country to recognize the State of #Palestine?? "decided to recognize Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state." https://t.co/ENVdZnAVlU #Colombia pic.twitter.com/l47WaHq84V
— ????????? ??????? (@iskandrah) September 5, 2018
“That decision is irreversible, first of all, because the president of the republic is the person designated by the constitution to manage foreign relations, and can not be altered after the fact.”
Last week, the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki confirmed he received an official letter of recognition from the former head of state just one day before his departure from office. Malki also attended Duque’s inauguration last month at which he met with officials from the new government and pushed for maintaining positive relations between Colombia and Palestine.
Decision to recognise Palestine 'irreversible', says Colombia president https://t.co/ZZONxbzXyu
— Joe Catron ? (@jncatron) September 5, 2018
Though Santos’s position triggered criticism from Israel, who in a statement said it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision which they called “damaging” to the long friendship shared between the two nations.
After Santos made the decision public, the Israeli embassy in Bogota said in a statement:
“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.”
— Ally Ismail (@allyisaaq) September 5, 2018
Reacting to upholding Santo’s decision, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Monday it was surprised by the decision.
“We are surprised by the report in the media and are waiting for explanations from the new administration which is checking into the subject.”
Duque: Recognition of Palestine by #Colombia is "irreversible", Colombian President #IvanDuque made it clear on Monday that recognition of #Palestine as a free and sovereign state by #Bogota "is irreversible." # 4Sep #ICS #News
— Encuestadora ICS (@icslatam1) September 4, 2018
During a 2012 U.N. General Assembly to decide “observer status” in regards to Palestine, 138 countries vote in favor, while Colombia abstained. When the question was brought to a vote again last year following the United State’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the South American nation was among the 128 countries to condemn the move.
With the Duque’s recent comments, Colombia becomes the 137th country to recognize Palestine’s statehood.
(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)