Caracas, May 20: Palestine has thanked Venezuela, its “most important ally” in the world, for representing and fighting for the Palestine cause at the UN Security Council, Spanish news agency Efe reported. “Venezuela is Palestine’s most important ally. It is the country that supports Palestine everywhere, in every way,” said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, at a conference of Palestinian ambassadors in the Americas in Caracas on Tuesday.
“It’s a country that has always committed itself to the struggle of the Palestinian people,” he continued. “I am here for several reasons, including to seek Venezuela’s support to encourage other Caribbean countries to recognise the state of Palestine,” Maliki said.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez lauded the Palestinian cause and the fortitude with which Palestinians “resist crimil bombings by Israel and imperial powers”.
Rodriguez also called on Spain to respect Venezuela. Ties between Venezuela and Spain have been strained since mid-April when the Spanish Congress of Deputies passed a resolution calling for the immediate release of Venezuelan political prisoners, including opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma.
Rodriguez’ statements come a day after Maliki offered to mediate between Venezuela and Spain. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo on Saturday acknowledged that Maliki’s visit could smoothen relations between the two countries. Venezuela and Palestine signed 18 agreements of cooperation during Maliki’s visit in areas including education, economy, commerce, energy, agriculture, culture, tourism, communications, sports, defence, policing and health. (IANS)