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Abbas concludes South America tour
Published Sunday 29/11/2009 (updated) 01/12/2009 09:46
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Chavez welcomes Abbas in Venezuela - Click for more [MaanImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – President Mahmoud Abbas concluded his tour of Latin America in Venezuela on Friday, where he and President Hugo Chavez signed agreements to promote bilateral relations.

The agreements included a series of initiatives to increase trade between Venezuela and the Palestinian territories, in addition to student exchange programs, with Chavez emphasizing that the agreements were signed between the State of Palestine, recognized as a sovereign state, and Caracas.

In particular, Chavez presented 20 medical school scholarships to Palestinians in addition to other scholarships for master's degrees in the field of science.

Furthermore, during a ceremony held at the presidential palace, Chavez announced the decision to appoint a Venezuelan ambassador to the West Bank, stressing, "We now have a charge d'affaires; we will name an ambassador in the coming days as part of accords to boost our bilateral relations," the Reuters news agency reported.

'Palestine is Venezuela'

In a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people, Chavez offered Abbas an olive branch and a gold-plated reproduction of a sword belonging to Simon Bolivar, the 19th century South American political leader who played a key role in the region’s independence from Spain.

Presenting Abbas with these gifts, the Venezuelan president proclaimed, "Venezuela is Palestine; Palestine is Venezuela, we have a common struggle."

"We should devote the entire force of our hearts and souls towards the creation of a Palestinian state," he said.

Accompanied by the Venezuelan health minister, Abbas visited the city’s optometry clinic before he left, where he was briefed on the developments and new technologies available to patients.

Abbas' visit to Caracas brought to a close the president’s regional tour, which included Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay, to gain support for a Palestinian state following the Palestinian Authority’s announcement that it will seek international support and UN recognition for unilaterally declaring a state on 1967 borders.

The Palestinian president left Caracas on Saturday afternoon with his delegation which included PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, presidential spokespman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, as well as political advisors Mustafa Abu Ar-Rab and Nimir Hammad.
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1 ) Abdullah Mannai / Doha, Qatar
29/11/2009 13:52
And who exactly is paying for all this five star treatment for the whole bunch of crooks. First class travel, luxury hotels, mixing with a Venezuelan lunatic who fixes elections. What about your people suffering in Palestine, with Gaza having no clean drinking water, little food. You are a crook

2 ) 0 / palestine
29/11/2009 15:52
you speak! abdullah no one knows how u are living in Doha!!

3 ) Abdullah Mannai / Doha, Qatar
29/11/2009 19:28
O in Palestine. You are correct, no one knows how I live. But I work hard and do not go around the world on other peoples money. Nor are the Qatari people suffering from lack of food, lack of drinking water at this joyous time. Our Emir looks after his people and makes sure they do go go without

4 ) Ann / USA
29/11/2009 22:34
President Abbas is doing exactly what he should be doing. These foreign visits by leaders are reported as news around the world and they help build international support.

5 ) Reader / Canada
01/12/2009 01:54
Abdullah, does the Emir dispense equally to all his children? Or does he give more to some than the others? And how does he decide who gets what?

6 ) palestinian in america / usa
03/12/2009 06:11
khaleej arabs are traitors and slaves working day and night for the zionists. they sold palestine in 1948, they sold iraq in 1991 and again 2003, and they will continue to sell out the arab people so they can sit on their 24karat gold chairs.

the arab house needs to be cleaned out completely.
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