Abbas meets Colombian president in Ramallah

AFP , Tuesday 11 Jun 2013

Palestinian president held talks with Colombian counterpart in Ramallah on the peace process and strengthening bilateral relations

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas met Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, a day after Israel's closest South American ally signed a free trade deal with the Jewish state.

Colombia was one of a minority of states to abstain in a vote on upgrading the Palestinians' status at the United Nations in November which passed with overwhelming international support.

Abbas and Santos discussed "the peace process... and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders," the Wafa news agency quoted Abbas as saying.

They also talked about "strengthening bilateral relations," he added.

Santos then returned to Jerusalem where he went straight into talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on what was the third day of his visit.

On Monday, Santos met Israeli President Shimon Peres at his residence in Jerusalem, with the two men signing a free trade agreement as well as deals on aviation and technological innovation.

He also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

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