Mahmud Abbas is on a Latin American tour to round up support for UN recognition of a Palestinian state
Mahmud Abbas (pictured in September), the president of the Palestine Authority, has arrived in El Salvador on the latest stop of a Latin American tour to round up support for UN recognition of a Palestinian state. © Abbas Momani - AFP/File
Mahmud Abbas is on a Latin American tour to round up support for UN recognition of a Palestinian state
AFP
Last updated: October 9, 2011

Mahmud Abbas in El Salvador to pitch UN recognition

Mahmud Abbas, the president of the Palestine Authority, arrived in El Salvador on the latest stop of a Latin American tour to round up support for UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

Abbas, who arrived from the Dominican Republic on Saturday, was to meet with the local Palestinian community later in the day ahead of a meeting Sunday with Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes.

Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez said Abbas wanted to personally thank Funes for El Salvador's recognition of a Palestinian state, and that they would discuss the Palestinian bid for UN recognition.

While El Salvador recognized Palestine as a "free, sovereign and independent state on August 25, it has not yet said what position it would take at the United Nations.

"Before staking out any position, we want to listen to President Abbas's point of view," said Martinez.

After his meeting with Funes, Abbas travels to Bogota for talks with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, who has already said Colombia would abstain in a UN Security Council vote on recognition.

Colombia, which has a seat on the UN Security Council, has argued that recognition of a Palestinian state should come through negotiations with Israel.

The Palestinian move for recognition is strongly opposed by both Israel and the United States, which say a Palestinian state can only emerge through bilateral negotiations.

Six Security Council members -- Brazil, China, India, Lebanon, Russia and South Africa -- have publicly indicated their backing for the Palestinian bid.

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