Uruguay will ask fellow members at the Unasur summit to be held in Montevideo later in the month to discuss the Gaza Strip situation, said Foreign minister Luis Almagro who next week will be meeting a delegation from the Palestine Authority. Almagro and president Jose Mujica have been questioned for using the words 'genocide' and 'massacre' to describe the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
Uruguay's position is that it would be good for the issue to be discussed by Unasur, both during the meeting of foreign ministers and at the presidential summit said Almagro.
He added that it would be good to have a regional consensus. Unasur has never avoided its commitment to address the most relevant issues of the international agenda; so it would be good to again address the issue based on what other countries have done since the beginning of hostilities and which is causing so much death, pain and destruction.
Many Latin American countries during last week have condemned the violence of the Israeli offensive in Gaza and have repeatedly called for a cease fire, while at the same time there have been pro-Palestine demonstrations in many of the region's cities. Several countries, including Brazil, have recalled their ambassadors from Israel.
Uruguay is among the countries which adopted one of the strongest positions on Gaza, strongly condemning the bombing of civilian population. The president Mujica administration in a release said that the death of women and children according to international law could be defined as a crime of war.
Mujica himself used the word 'genocide' and was challenged by the Israel ambassador in Montevideo, too harsh words from a long time friend of Israel. The situation is not as simple as it sounds: how do you react when you are constantly bombed with rockets, which then you find out have been hidden in schools, hospitals and civilians are used as human shields.
Uruguay's two leading publications said Mujica used the word 'genocide' out of his sheer 'ignorance' and 'imbecility', and strongly suggested he looks up in the dictionary the meaning of 'genocide'.
Furthermore the Mujica administration announced it was advancing the opening of a Uruguayan embassy in Ramala, and last week sent a delegation to the Palestine capital to check on a place and finish the necessary paperwork.
All our support has always being with the Palestine Authority said Almagro who emphasized we have condemned violence as a strategy element to solve this situation and we have always believed that the path followed by the Palestinian government has always being the most appropriate, so it will be an honor to receive a delegation from the Palestine Authority that is scheduled to visit Montevideo next week.
Unasur foreign ministers will be gathering in Montevideo on Thursday 21 August and on Friday will take place the heads of state summit. At the summit the rotating chair of Unasur will pass from Suriname to Uruguay and the new Secretary General, Colombian former Ernesto president Samper will be officially inaugurated.