Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived at Buenos Aires Sunday evening g for a diplomatic trip that includes a meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Monday.
The Palestinian leader flew in directly from Brazil, where he held meetings with President Lula da Silva, members of Congress, governors, mayors and representatives from the Palestinian community.
Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana welcomed Abbas and the Palestinian delegation composed among others by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, and Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki. On Monday the Palestinian leader is scheduled to meet with Argentine president at noon at the Government House, where a special lunch will be carry to honour Abba's visit.
Early on Tuesday, Abbas will visit the Congress and authorities of the Lower House. The agenda will continue with another honorific lunch, this time at the Islamic Centre of Argentina. Tuesday's schedule will end at mid afternoon when Abbas along with Minister Taiana will address a dissertation in front of members of the Foreign Relations Argentine Council (CARI).
On a communiqué released, the Argentine Foreign Ministry considers that the visit of President Mahmoud Abbas will offer the opportunity of exchanging the countries point of views on regards the Middle East region situation, as well the negotiations so far carried on by both Palestinians and Israelis, and the possibility of Argentina' cooperation for the region.
In the same communiqué, Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana assures that ”Argentina has always supported the peace-making processes intended to resolve the Middle East conflict and to guarantee the inalienable right of the people of Palestine to constitute an independent state”.
In Brazil President Lula da Silva tried to convince his peer Abbas to run again for president of the Palestine National Authority, something he had announced with anticipation given his frustration over peace talks with Israel and the growing influence of Hamas.
“It’s a definitive decision. The continued colonization of occupied Palestinian territories leaves us frustrated and disappointed and that is why I am not running for re-election”, said Abbas and added that “it won’t be the end of the Palestinian National Authority”
Lula da Silva praised Abbas as “a main asset of the (Middle East) peace process” because of his leadership and trust, and officially asked him to continue working with Israel in the peace process.
Brazil and the PNA also signed several cooperation agreements. Brazil ratified support for the Palestinian cause and for the acknowledgement of the Palestinian State by the United Nations.
Before flying to Argentina, Abbas visited the state of Rio Grande do Sul which borders with Uruguay and has a numerous Palestinian community estimated in 20.000. In the capital Porto Alegre he was received by governor Yeda Crusius, the mayor of Porto Alegre, José Fogaça, and the chairman of the Legislative Assembly, Ivan Pavan.
This is a very important day for Rio Grande do Sul because we have the opportunity to talk to a very special man, a builder of world peace, who has proved throughout his life that he is a leader, who formulates and acts on behalf of peace, said Governor Yeda Crusius.
From Argentina the Palestinian leader flies to Chile, Venezuela and Paraguay.