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The President of Chile opens an embassy in Palestine, the president says


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Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced that his country will open an embassy in the Palestinian territories, becoming one of the rare Andean countries that has the highest level of diplomatic representation in Palestine.

Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Origola confirmed the plan on Thursday but said there was no set timetable yet and that Chile continues to recognize both Palestine and Israel as legitimate states.

The left-wing Burik, who has repeatedly expressed support for the Palestinian people’s demand for an independent state, made the remarks at a private event in Santiago hosted by the city’s important Palestinian diaspora.

Burik said, “I risk (saying) this… We will lift our official representation in Palestine from the presence of a chargé d’affaires; now we will open an embassy.” The embassy will be located.

The Israeli embassy in Chile did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment, sent outside business hours.

The Palestinian territories, which include the West Bank and Gaza Strip, compete for control of East Jerusalem. Israel captured those areas in the 1967 Middle East war, and there have been regular clashes since then.

The West Bank has seen some of its worst levels of violence in more than a decade this year, most of it centered around Nablus and the nearby city of Jenin, where at least 150 Palestinians and more than 20 Israelis have been killed.

Israeli forces killed another Palestinian near the flashpoint site on Thursday, underlining the continuing violence in the occupied West Bank that will confront the incoming government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu secured a coalition with religious partners and ultra-nationalists who oppose a Palestinian state and want to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Borik, from Chile, said the aim of the embassy was to give the Palestinians the representation they deserve and to demand “respect for international law.”

In September, Borik delayed receiving the credentials of Israel’s new ambassador to Chile after a Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli forces. Israel criticized the decision, saying it “seriously” harmed bilateral relations.

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