Middle East

Colombian president orders opening of an embassy in the Palestinian city of Ramallah

From CNNEE’s Mauricio Torres

Colombian President Gustavo Petro ordered the opening of an embassy in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, Foreign Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said Wednesday.

Murillo told reporters the move is part of the foreign policy objective Petro is promoting together with other governments to recognize a Palestinian state.

“Colombia had already recognized Palestine as a state in previous governments, in the government of President (Juan Manuel) Santos, and President Petro has given the instruction that we install the Colombian embassy in Ramallah, the Colombian representation in Ramallah. That is the next step we are going to take,” he said.

The announcement was made hours after Spain, Ireland and Norway said they would recognize a Palestinian state, and weeks after Petro announced that Colombia would break diplomatic relations with Israel over its actions in Gaza.

Murillo reiterated Wednesday that Colombia condemns the aggressions of Hamas, but rejects Israel’s response. He also argued that the intention to open an embassy in Ramallah is not a measure against Israel but rather in favor of the two states.

“More and more countries are going to recognize Palestine, and this is nothing against Israel or the people of Israel or the Jews, but rather the United Nations agreed, in the context of the Oslo Accords, to create a two-state solution. And so, if you need two states, you obviously require that Palestine be recognized as a full state,” he said.

It’s unclear when a Colombian embassy in Ramallah would open and what steps would need to be taken to do so.

CNN has reached out to the Israeli embassy in Colombia for comment.

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