President Jose Mujica is an “emblematic” figure at regional level and is one of the great assets of Uruguay’s foreign policy, said Foreign Affairs minister Luis Almagro on making a review of the first ten months of the administration.
Almagro also confirmed that Uruguay would be recognizing the state of Palestine in 2011, although ‘not necessarily’ in the same terms as Brazil and Argentina in reference to the controversial pre-1967 borders.
“Foreign leaders’ vision of President Mujica is extraordinary. At regional level he is an emblematic figure with a mythological component and he is undoubtedly one of the great assets of Uruguayan foreign policy”, said Almagro.
“His opinion is absolutely respected, considered, listened, appreciated and valued, definitively he has been a determining element in some of the achievements of the country’s foreign policy”, added the minister.
Almagro also announced that President Mujica will be visiting Peru the last week of January thus completing a tour of all South American countries before his first year in office (next March).
“The only missing South American country to visit in the presidential agenda is Peru and this will take place during the last week of January” said Almagro who added that Mujica is also scheduled to visit Scandinavia and Germany in October, and China and Russia in dates yet to be determined.
Almagro will be travelling to South East Asia an to the United States in the first half of 2011 to prepare a future visit of President Mujica to Washington for a meeting with President Barack Obama.
“Uruguay’s recognition of a sovereign, independent state of Palestine to be formalized at the beginning of 2011 is a contribution to peace and an important element to continue advancing which in the multilateral system, on which virtually the entire world is in agreement”.
Almagro went on to say that the situation so far has not helped peace in the region. “After over half a century we continue with the same situation and the same kind of conflicts and problems. So definitively there is a need to advance in what was the solution first though or envisioned at United Nations: the existence of two states, Israel and Palestine”.
As to the controversial issue of the Palestine state borders to be recognized, Almagro said that the Uruguayan ministry is currently assessing the issue and “will not necessarily” be in the same terms as Brazil and Argentina. “We have to look carefully at the variables of the declaration”.
Brazil and Argentina recognized at the beginning of December the State of Palestine according to pre-1967 (Six Days war) borders, which means the whole integrity of Palestine territories: Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Bolivia followed on Mercosur main associates path this week and recognized the Palestine state in pre-1967 borders.