Colombia president says Palestine recognition is ‘irreversible’
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Colombia president says Palestine recognition is ‘irreversible’

Ivan Duque told local media how the decision was made by his predecessor, and that he believes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the best one

Iván Duque Márquez
Iván Duque Márquez

President Ivan Duque of Colombia said the decision by his predecessor to recognise a Palestinian state days before he left office is “irreversible.”

Outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos, in a letter dated 3 August to the Palestinian representative in Colombia, said he had decided to “recognise Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state.”

“Damage was done by the fact that there was not more institutional discussion,” Duque said Monday in an interview with a local radio station. “President Santos told me that he had made that decision, but it is irreversible.

“We would have benefited from more analyses [about recognising Palestine]. What we, the international community, should not do is be part of the problem. Instead, we must be part of the solution. The solution is to form lasting peace, stability, and that the two-state solution will move forward.”

Duque said he believes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the best one.

At least 136 countries have recognised a Palestinian state, including all the countries in South America.

Duque said during the campaign that he would consider moving the country’s embassy to Jerusalem. Colombia abstained from the December vote in the United Nations General Assembly on a resolution calling for the United States not to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv nor recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Palestinians claim eastern Jerusalem for their capital.

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