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Colombia to open embassy in Palestine: President

October 20, 2023: Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia, a country in South America,  announced late Thursday that his country will open an embassy in the central city of Ramallah in Palestine.

Petro issued the statement after meeting with Israel’s Ambassador to Colombia, Gali Dagan, and Palestinian Ambassador Raouf Al-Maliki.

“I have expressed my position to achieve an international peace conference that opens the way for two independent and free states. I reiterated my solidarity with Israeli and Palestinian children, who must have the right to live in peace,” he said on X following the meeting.

“We will send a plane with humanitarian aid to the outskirts of Gaza waiting for a humanitarian corridor to open. Colombia will open its embassy in Ramallah, Palestine,” he added.

In a statement posted on X on October 9, Petro criticized the way Israel responded to the attack launched two days earlier by the Palestinian group Hamas.

He said, “The only way for Palestinian children to sleep in peace is for Israeli children to sleep in peace” and vice versa.

“That will never be achieved by war, only by a peace agreement that respects international law and the right of both peoples to coexist freely,” he said.

He also shared images of Palestinian children who had lost their lives as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment and a blockade since October 7, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza is experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis with no electricity, while water, food, fuel and medical supplies are running out.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to ease the “epic human suffering.”

At least 3,785 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, while more than 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the conflict.

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