Colombia’s president orders opening of embassy in Palestinian city of Ramallah

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has ordered the opening of an embassy in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo announced Wednesday. “President Petro has given the instruction that we install a Colombian embassy in Ramallah. That is the next step we are going to take,” Murillo told reporters. The announcement comes after Petro’s government withdrew its diplomats from Israel and broke relations with the country on May 2 after describing Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “genocide.” The intention to open an embassy in Palestine was announced by Petro on Oct. 20 last year, when he met with the Ambassadors of Israel, Gali Dagan, and Palestine, Raouf Almalki. According to Murillo, the president also led a meeting of leaders in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where it was agreed to implement strategies so that Palestine is recognized as a state in full right before the United Nations. ​​”We are sure that more and more countries will recognize Palestine, and this is nothing against Israel or the Jews,” said the Colombian foreign minister. “The United Nations agreed in the context of the Oslo agreements that a two-state solution will be created, and if two states are needed, Palestine needs to be recognized as a full state,” he added. The announcement was made on the same day that Spain, Ireland and Norway announced that they will jointly recognize the State of Palestine on May 28. Colombia recognized Palestine as a state on Aug. 3, 2018, during the government of Juan Manuel Santos.