Dominican Republic backs Palestine to create sovereign nation

13:42, June 20, 2011      

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Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez said on Sunday that his government supported the Palestinian people to declare an independent and sovereign state.

Fernandez, who is on his first official visit to Palestine, also stressed Israel's "right to exist in a peaceful territory," according to reports reaching here.

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas thanked Fernandez for the Dominican Republic's interest in getting involved in the international efforts to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

"Our will is that Palestine will be a free nation, and that its people can live in peace," Abbas said at a joint press conference with Fernandez.

Fernandez said his government supported the Palestinian people's right to "create an independent state that can co-exist in peace with Israel."

Late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat announced in 1988 the creation of a Palestinian statehood, living alongside Israel with east Jerusalem as its capital, based on pre-1967 borders, including the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian state has not yet fully materialized due to Israel's continued occupation.

In late May, the Palestinian leadership reaffirmed it would apply to the United Nations to gain the recognition of an independent Palestinian state despite opposition from the United States.

Fernandez arrived in Palestine earlier Sunday from Jordan as part of his tour to Spain and the Middle East.

Source: Xinhua
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