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Chile to open embassy in Palestine says President

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Chile to open embassy in Palestine, says President

  • By Al Mayadeen English 
  • Source: Agencies
  • 23 Dec 2022 18:39 

The pro-Palestine stance in Chile takes to new heights, with President Boric announcing that he would open up an embassy in occupied Palestine.

  • Chilean President Gabriel Boric gives a speech during a cultural event in Santiago, Chile, March 13, 2022 (Reuters) Chilean President Gabriel Boric gives a speech during a cultural event in Santiago, Chile, March 13, 2022 (Reuters)

Chile is planning to open an embassy in occupied Palestine as Santiago seeks to demand that international law be respected, as per President Gabriel Boric.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry welcomed Boric's decision to open the embassy after Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola confirmed the plan on Thursday.

Urrejola, however, said there was no timeline for the process, noting that his country would still recognize both occupied Palestine and the Israeli occupation.

The decision itself came on Wednesday evening, with Boric announcing it before Chilean Palestinians who are part of the large Palestinian community in Santiago.

"We are going to raise our official representation in Palestine from having a charge d’affaires. Now we are going to open an embassy," Boric said after noting that he was "taking a risk [saying] this".

Al-Quds responded to this, with the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates "strongly commend[ing] the move."

"Affirms the principled position of Chile and its president in support of international law and the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state," Al-Quds said.

The Latin American country has a history of supporting Palestine, already having a representative office in Palestine, which was established in 1998 in Ramallah, the occupied West Bank. In 2011 as well, Chile recognized Palestine as a state and supported its admission into UNESCO.

Boric's move was done with the aim of giving Palestinians the representation they deserve, according to the President, though he did not specify where the embassy would be opened exactly.

The uncertainty about where the embassy would be located is due to former US President Donald Trump, who caused a diplomatic crisis for Palestine after he recognized the Palestinian capital, occupied Al-Quds, as the capital of "Israel", prompting the location of embassies to be a contentious subject for various states.

This comes months after Boric refused to accept the credentials of newly-inaugurated Israeli ambassador Gil Artzyeli, citing the Israeli occupation forces' murder of a young Palestinian teen in the occupied West Bank.

Artzyelli was already at the Chilean presidential palace for his planned meeting with Boric when Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola informed him that his credentials would not be accepted that day and that the ceremony would be postponed until next month.

A day before the Israeli-perpetrated Sabra and Shatila massacre turned 40, the Israeli ambassador played the victim card, saying that though the incident was "quite uncomfortable. Being an Israeli and as a Jew, my people have undergone worse things in the last 4,000 years."

Read next: An Everlasting Trauma: Sabra and Shatila by the Hours

Boric's BDS and resistance

Chilean President Gabriel Boric has long been an outspoken advocate of the Palestinian cause against the Israeli occupation.

Boric once called "Israel" a "murderous state" during his presidential campaign, voicing support for bills calling for boycotting goods, services, and products from Israeli settlements.

He responded in 2019 to the Chilean Jewish community sending him a jar of honey for Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) by saying he "appreciate[d] the gesture" but "they could have asked Israel to return illegally occupied Palestinian territory."

His anti-Israeli stance has made him unpopular among Zionist groups in Chile but garnered him a lot of support from leftists and pro-Palestine advocates, especially Chile's 350,000-strong Palestinian diaspora.

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