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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:07 PM


Solid Latam support for Palestine ‘observer status’ vote at the UN

Latinamerican countries most of which recognize Palestine as a free and sovereign state, helped this week with their votes to elevate the status of the Palestine Authority to “non member observer” which was approved this week by an overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly.

Panama was the only Latam country among the nine that did not support the UN resolution considered ‘historic’, while Paraguay, Guatemala and Colombia joined the ranks of those that abstained, 41. The rest of Latam voted in favour of the motion which is similar to the Vatican status and finally totalled 138 ayes.

Two surprises: Mexico that supported the motion but does not recognize the state of Palestine and Paraguay’s abstention which last year with President Fernando Lugo voted as the rest of South American countries.

Panamanian Foreign Ministry Romulo Roux said that his country does not recognize Palestine as a state but admits their right to become one as long as they have the “capacity to live in peace with its neighbours”.

Guatemala that does not recognize Palestine as an independent state has already anticipated abstention, while Colombia another abstainer is a similar case to Mexico: it does not recognize an independent Palestine state but in 1995 had the diplomatic initiative of formalizing a ‘Special mission’ or Palestine embassy in Bogotá.

In Chile which hosts 400.000 Palestine mostly descendents from XX century immigrants, mostly Catholic, are the largest Palestine community overseas, and celebrated enthusiastically the UN resolution. Even when Palestine has an embassy in Santiago since 1991, Chile only recognized Palestine as a “free, independent and sovereign” state on January 2011.

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