Colombia to review recognition of 'Palestine'

Colombia’s new government says it will review former President’s recognition of “Palestine” as a state.

Elad Benari ,


Colombia’s new government said on Wednesday night it would review former President Juan Manuel Santos’ recognition of “Palestine” as a state, Reuters reported.

A letter from the country’s foreign ministry that was published earlier announced that Colombia recognized “Palestine” as a sovereign state in the days before new President Ivan Duque took office.

Duque, who took office on Tuesday, was informed a few days ago of Santos’ decision, the foreign ministry later said.

“Given possible omissions that could come to light about the way in which this decision was taken by the outgoing president, the government will cautiously examine its implications and will act according to international law,” new Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

The letter circulated earlier said that Santos decided to recognize Palestine as a “free, independent and sovereign state” and added, “Just as the Palestinian people have a right to constitute an independent state, Israel has a right to live in peace alongside its neighbors.”

The decision came to light during a visit to Colombia by United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, according to Reuters. She attended Duque’s inauguration on Tuesday and on Wednesday visited Venezuelan migrants in the northern border city of Cucuta.

The United States was getting more information about the situation and had no immediate comment, the U.S. mission to the United Nations said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week cancelled a scheduled trip to Colombia due to the recent escalation in the south. Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi made the visit in Netanyahu’s place.

Netanyahu visited Bogota last September where he met with Santos.

Several countries around the world have recognized “Palestine” as a state in recent years, though these moves have been mostly symbolic and have little, if any, diplomatic effect.