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01/03/2018 - 20:07hs

Brazil, Palestine in cooperation talks

Brazilian foreign minister Aloysio Nunes met with Palestinian authorities in Ramallah. They also discussed the scenario in the Middle East.

São Paulo – The Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Aloysio Nunes, travelled to Palestine this Thursday (1), where he met with president Mahmoud Abbas, prime minister Rami Hamdallah and foreign minister Riad Malki. Nunes’ press office said he discussed the current Middle East scenario, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and reiterated Brazil’s position regarding it.

Brazil supports a safe, peaceful two-state solution with mutually agreed upon, internationally recognized borders. In 2010, the Brazilian government recognized the State of Palestine as per its 1967 borders, which predated the so-called Six-Day War, which was when Israel occupied the Palestinian territories.

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Talks between Israeli and Palestinian authorities, however, have been stagnant for years. Brazil’s FM said Brazil is willing to help, in case both parties invite it.

Bilateral cooperation in education, culture, small and medium businesses and healthcare were also discussed during the meeting. One suggestion that was made was that an agreement be reached between Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) and some Palestinian organization in order to encourage entrepreneurship in the Arab country.

Nunes also suggested that cultural exchange be increased, since Palestine’s literary, artistic and cinematic output is not widely known in Brazil. The two countries have cooperated in healthcare in the past.

When it comes to trade, the Brazilian minister remarked that the free-trade agreement entered into by Mercosur and Palestine is being discussed in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies. It has been approved by the Foreign Relations Commission but pends ratification from the plenary.

Nunes also met with the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl. The primary topic covered was the cute in funding to UNRWA that was recently announced by the United States government.

The Brazilian foreign minister also visited the mausoleum of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004.

The next stop in the minister’s Middle East tour will be Jordan, where he is expected to sign a technical cooperation agreement with the local government.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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