Israel postponed a bilateral meeting in Costa Rica on Tuesday that was to be headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Majallie Whbee, to protest Costa Rica's decision to commission an ambassador to "Palestine." Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said the postponement also included a meeting that Whbee was scheduled to have on Wednesday with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. No new date for the bilateral dialogue was scheduled. Mekel said the decision was meant as a protest at the Costa Rican government's decision on February 5 to send an ambassador to "Palestine," thereby granting formal recognition to a Palestinian state. While numerous countries have ambassadors posted to "Palestine," Costa Rica's move raised Israel's ire because of the timing. "By doing this now they are going against the direction set by the Quartet, going against the road map," Mekel said. "There was a need to show a protest." Mekel said Costa Rica's move "totally contradicts the traditional friendship that characterized its relations with Israel since its establishment." Costa Rica and El Salvador were the last two countries to move their embassies from Jerusalem, with both of them leaving the capital in August 2006. Since then, Costa Rica's relations with the Arab world have improved markedly. Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem still characterized relations with Costa Rica as "friendly," and said that Arias's policies - including his decision to move the embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv - were influenced by the large Arab population in the Central American country. Costa Rica's charge d'affaires at the embassy in Tel Aviv could not be reached for comment Tuesday.