Colombia’s main opposition party Polo Democratico denounced the Colombian government’s “shameful submission” to the U.S. in supporting the American effort to block a vote on Palestinian statehood.
Colombia’s foreign minister announced Monday that Colombia will abstain from voting for the Palestinian National Authority’s request for statehood in the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council.
The Polo Democratico Party condemned the Colombian government’s policy towards Palestinian autonomy, arguing that “the Palestinian people have every right to self-determination, without external interference.”
“The Colombian government, boasting the most shameful submission to the orders of the U.S. government and the selfish interests of Israel, has communicated its determination not to extend recognition to the Palestinian state during the next session of the U.N. General Assembly,” the party said in an official statement.
“This decision is contrary to the majority position of Latin America, of UNASUR [Union of South American Nations] and of more than 110 countries that have expressed their support for the people and the Palestinian Authority. With this position Colombia isolates itself from most of Latin America and the international community.”
They asserted that the Palestinian people have been “subjected to more than a half century as refugees in their own territory that has been largely usurped by the government of Israel, with the aggravation of the establishment of the wall of infamy in the West Bank to separate the refugee zones from the rest of the seized territory…”
Colombia, one of 10 non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, has promised to join the United States in its bid to block a vote in the Security Council. However, should the U.S. fail to gather the seven states necessary to abstain or vote against the proposal to form a blocking minority in the Security Council, it will use its veto power to stop the U.N. from approving of a Palestinian state, a move that would exacerbate its already tense relationship with the Middle East.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will speak at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. He will emphasize the importance of bilateral mediation in the Palestinian National Authority’s bid for statehood.