(This post was originally posted on https://santiagotimes.cl/2018/05/11/chile-supports-palestines-right-to-independence-pinera-tells-abbas/)
SANTIAGO – Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has expressed his support for efforts to establish a “free, independent, sovereign state” during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who reiterated his commitment to the two state solution with Israel.
“Palestine has the right and the support of Chile to be a free, independent, sovereign and autonomous country, and the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination,” the president said.
Santiago supported the accession of Palestine to UNESCO in 2011 and to the status of observer state at the United Nations during Pinera’s first presidential term. Pinera was the first Chilean president to visit occupied Ramallah.
Chile was the first to have a diplomatic representation with the Palestinian Authority in 1998 and officially recognized the State of Palestine since January 2011.
The South American country also hosts the largest population of Palestinians in any country outside the Arab world.
The Palestinian president, who began an official tour of Latin America starting with Venezuela on Sunday, arrived in Santiago on Wednesday during a tour of Latin America where he is urging countries not to transfer their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem.
In a joint conference with his Chilean counterpart on Wednesday, Abbas noted that the Palestinian government is seeking further negotiations based on international resolutions and a two-state solution along the 1967 borders.
“I am looking forward to the day when the suffering of six million Palestinians who have been living for 70 years as refugees in many countries across the world, would end in accordance with the Arab peace initiative, and the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, in order to achieve peace, security, and stability in the region.” Abbas said.
During the speech, Abbas stated that Jerusalem has been an occupied territory since 1967 and is the capital of the State of Palestine, open to believers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
According to officials, Abbas briefed his Chilean counterpart on recent political developments in the region, specifically contested developments involving the United States’ move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as well as the relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.
The US’ new embassy in Jerusalem is due to open on Monday with calls for demonstrations across the occupied territories.
Guatemala and Paraguay announced that they would follow in the US’ footsteps and transfer their embassies to the occupied city of Jerusalem.
by The Santiago Times(Chile)
May 1, 2018