Ecuador to open embassy in 'Palestine', president cancels visit to Israel

Foreign minister announces plans to open embassy for delegation now in Ramallah, 5 South American countries recall ambassadors to Israel.

August 7, 2014 08:05
1 minute read.

A poster of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat near the entrance to Ramallah.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa canceled his trip to Israel, scheduled for later this year, in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.

“We must continue to denounce this genocide” he said in an interview with a local radio station, clarifying that the cancellation is in response to Israel’s policies vis-a-vis Gaza.

The decision comes after Ecuador recalled its ambassador from Israel, at the height of the operation. Correa mentioned that his country was the first in South America to do so.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced via Twitter that “Ecuador has decided to open an embassy in Palestine,” to join the country’s “diplomatic mission in Ramallah” – which he termed, “the heart of Palestine.”

In July, Israel expressed “deep disappointment” when El Salvador, Peru and Chile decided to recall their ambassadors for consultations in protest against the military operation in Gaza.

The three Latin American countries “would have been much better advised to promote the international move intended to assist Israel in its efforts to defend innocent civilians and instate a durable cease-fire with the demilitarization of Gaza,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said.

The move by the three countries followed a decision a week earlier by Brazil and Ecuador to do the same.

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