RAMALLAH – Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera said on Thursday the time had come to establish peace between Israel and Palestine based on a two-state solution during a visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The Chilean leader met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during an official visit to Palestine that brings his visit to the region to a close.
In statements similar to those he offered during a meeting and dinner with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Wednesday, he said the only way to resolve the Israeli-Palestine conflict was to base it on United Nations resolutions.
“I know that for a long time you have pushed for this deal with great effort, but you can never give up on what you believe to be good and just,” Piñera told Abbas during a press conference at the presidential palace in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian National Authority.
Piñera said he supported a solution that would deliver two independent and sovereign states with recognized and secure borders.
“This land deserves peace,” he said.
He underlines the connection between Palestine and Chile, which houses nearly 400,000 members of the Palestinian diaspora.
“They are very Chilean but carry Palestine in their hearts,” he added.
Abbas, who noted Chile as a “friend” suggested that union be used to connect the South American nation to the rest with the Arab world.
During their closed-door meeting, the pair discussed cooperation in the ambits of education and health and announced a framework that would lead toward a free-trade agreement between the two states.
Piñera, who laid a wreath at the tomb of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, brought his visit to Israel and Palestine to a close.
During the trip, he sparked controversy when he visited the Old City in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian area that has been occupied by Israeli forces since the end of the 1967 Six Day War.
Israel rebuked the Chilean leader for visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, along with Palestinian officials in the occupied portion of Jerusalem.
He angered the Palestinian government, too, when he visited the Western Wall, a holy Jewish site in the Old City, with Israel’s ambassador to Chile, Eldad Hayet.
Piñera is to continue his journey onto Osaka in Japan to take part in the G20 summit.