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Chile supports Palestine's right to independence

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) Chilean President Sebastian Pinera attend a press conference in the West Bank town of Ramallah on 5 March 2011 [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has expressed his support for efforts to establish a "free, independent, sovereign state" during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"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," he said.

Chile 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.

Santiago was the first country to have a diplomatic representation with the Palestinian Authority in 1998 and officially recognised the State of Palestine since January 2011.

Read: Israel and Chile are partners in the oppression of their indigenous populations

The Palestinian president 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.

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.

Asia & AmericasChileIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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