Colombia: Palestinian Leader Mahmud Abbas Visits President Santos

Since the month of September, the Palestinian state has stepped up its attempts to achieve one of its most fondest wishes: to be recognised by the United Nations as a member state. The president of the Palestinian territories, Mahmud Abbas, expressed this great desire at the last UN General Assembly, and although the great majority of member states recognise Palestine as a state, countries like Israel and the United States continue to oppose their inclusion– especially when the latter has the power of veto in the Security Council.

In Latin America, the countries that don't recognise Palestine are few –including Colombia. As a result, President Abbas visited Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota to discuss relations between Palestine and Israel, which also includes The West Bank, The Gaza Strip and Eastern Jerusalem territories.

President Santos showed his continued support for the creation of a Palestinian State under the condition that these countries guarantee peace through negotiations. Abbas thanked Colombia for its interest and willingness to initiate new talks on the matter, so much that President Santos reported the results of this meeting to the Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Mahmud Abbas visitó varios países latinoamericanos, entre ellos Colombia, con el fin de buscar apoyo para consolidar el sueño de Palestina de ser reconocido como estado ante la ONU. Imagen de cvrcak1 en flickr. (CC-BY NC 2.0)

Mahmud Abbas visited various Latin American countries, Colombia included, in search of support to consolidate Palestine's desire for recognition before the UN. Image by flickr user cvrcak1. (CC-BY NC 2.0)

The blog La Polémica [es] reaffirmed the Colombian government's opinion on the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis:

Tuvimos razón en el año 1947: se creó el Estado de Israel y el conflicto lleva 60 años. Lo que no queremos y no nos parece, y tal vez por ser un país que ha vivido un conflicto interno nos llega más al fondo, es que sin un acuerdo de paz, no se debe crear un nuevo Estado.

We were right in 1947: the state of Israel was created and the conflict has lasted 60 years. What we don't want and don't see as appropriate, and perhaps this is so important to us because we are a country that has lived through internal conflict, is that without a peace treaty, a new state cannot be created.

La Silla Vacía [es] adds that Abbas’ visit to Colombia was a waste of time, according to an article from a well-known news organization, because of the close relations between President Santos and Israel.

Así lo reconoció en un artículo la cadena Al-Jazeera títulado ‘Mahmud Abbas pierde su tiempo en Colombia’ que reveló los negocios de armas entre Israel y Colombia. El artículo -escrito por Sebastián Castañeda, columnista sobre Colombia en esta cadena- cuenta cómo, desde 2006, cuando Juan Manuel Santos fue nombrado Ministro de Defensa, la relación Israel-Colombia se fortaleció.

That's the way they see it according to an article from Al-Jazeera titled ‘Mahmud Abbas is wasting time in Colombia’ that reveals arms-dealing operations between Israel and Colombia. The article- written by Sebastián Castañeda, who reports on Colombia for this news outlet- reports that since 2006, when Juan Manuel Santos was named Minister of Defence, the relationship between Israel-Colombia strengthened.

The blog Nzazaoth [es] points out that convincing Colombia, who is an non-permanent member of the UN's Security Council at the moment, to vote in favour of Palestine is an arduous task :

La tarea en Colombia del presidente de la Autoridad Nacional Palestina (ANP), Mahmud Abbas, no parece fácil. Llegó ayer a Bogotá, en una visita privada, con el propósito de convencer al Gobierno colombiano, como miembro no permanente del Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas (ONU), de respaldar el reconocimiento del Estado palestino.

The Palestinian National Authority's president, Mahmud Abbas, has no easy task. He arrived in Bogota yesterday, on a private visit, to try to convince the Colombian government, as a non-permanent member of the security council of the United Nations, to back the recognition of the state of Palestine.

On Twitter, RCN Radio (@rcnlaradio) reported on the reaction of Israeli nationals due to Abbas’ visit:

Israelíes protestan en Plaza de Bolívar por presencia de Mahmud Abbas en Colombia

Israelíes protest in Plaza de Bolívar because of Mahmud Abbas’ presence in Colombia [es]

Santiago Pelaez (@SantiagoPelaezH) combines all the sentiments of the aforementioned bloggers:

#SebastianCastañeda: “#MahmoudAbbas está perdiendo su tiempo en Colombia”

#SebastianCastañeda: “#MahmoudAbbas is wasting his time in Colombia” #Politica #Diplomacia

Pilipe Anakaleki (@The_Whitedemon) uses humour to show that the only thing that Abbas could get out of a visit to Colombia was a visit to the historical centre of Bogotá:

Colombia ofreció mediación en conflicto entre palestinos e israelíes // #Hecho Abbas vino de paseo a conocer el centro.

Colombia offered mediation in the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis // #Hecho Abbas went for a walk to see the centre.

On the other hand, a tweet from the Communist Party (@notipaco) defends Abbas’ objective on Colombian soil:

Abbas no viene a tratar de cambiar la posición de Colombia en la discusión, sino a buscar salidas para el conflicto con Israel

Abbas isn't trying to change Colombia's stance, but looking for solutions to the conflict with Israel

And Andrea Bernal (@abernalNTN24) believes that despite Abbas’ affirmation that despite Colombia's position relations with the country will not change, he isn't leaving Bogota satisfied:

No creo que Mahmud Abbas, quede muy contento con la posición de Colombia. Santos insiste en sentarse a negociar.

I don't believe that Mahmud Abbas, is very happy with Colombia's position. Santos insists on sitting down to negotiate.

1 comment

  • robert peagos

    Israel , we Colombians love you and will fight and die for you because your just cause is our cause,we will stand with you against the world!

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