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Colombian president says to break diplomatic relations with Israel

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-02 11:41

Colombia's President Gustavo Petro speaks as people attend a march in support of the reforms on health, retirement, employment, and prisons sectors proposed by his government, in Bogota, Colombia May 1, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

BOGOTA -- Colombia will sever diplomatic relations with Israel on Thursday, said President Gustavo Petro on Wednesday.

Speaking to a crowd in the capital Bogota, the Colombian president referred to the Israeli government as "genocidal."

"The era of genocide, of the extermination of an entire people before our eyes, before our humanity, cannot return," said Petro, adding that if Palestine dies, humanity dies.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz denounced Colombia's decision. "Relations between Israel and Colombia have always been warm, and no antisemitic and hate-filled president can change that," he said on X, formerly Twitter.

The Colombian president has expressed his intention to cut off diplomatic ties with Israel on several occasions since the UN Security Council adopted in March a resolution on ceasefire in Gaza.

Colombia recalled its ambassador to Israel in October, a few days after Israel launched military operations in densely-populated areas in Gaza in response to Hamas attack.

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