Colombia to open embassy in Ramallah

Bogota recognised Palestine as a state in 2018

Pro-Palestine protesters gather outside the Palestinian embassy in Bogota, Colombia. EPA
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Colombia is to open an embassy in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, the administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority, Foreign Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo has said.

President Gustavo Petro has instructed us to open a Colombian embassy in Ramallah – and this is the next step we will take,” El Tiempo reported Mr Murillo as saying on Wednesday.

He added that Mr Petro had recently led a meeting of regional leaders in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where he gave his support for Palestine being "recognised as a state with full rights at the United Nations”.

The UN General Assembly this month voted overwhelmingly in favour of Palestine's right to full membership, after the US vetoed the proposal in the Security Council.

Colombia announced its embassy plan the same day Norway, Spain and Ireland said they would recognise Palestine as a state. Colombia recognised Palestine in 2018.

Mr Petro, a critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said earlier this month he would cut diplomatic ties with Israel over its actions in Gaza.

“Here in front of you, the government of change, of the President of the Republic, announces that tomorrow we will break diplomatic relations with the state of Israel”, Mr Petro told cheering crowds in Bogota, describing Israeli leadership as “genocidal”.

That declaration drew an immediate response from Israel, with Foreign Minister Israel Katz accusing Mr Petro of being “anti-Semitic and full of hatred”.

Updated: May 23, 2024, 7:51 PM