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PARAMARIBO, Suriname – Israel’s ambassador to Suriname says he has expressed his country’s disappointment over the South American nation’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state, the Associated Press reports.
Amiram Magid, the non-resident Israeli ambassador to Suriname said Wednesday that he had a “frank and candid” meeting with Surinamese Foreign Minister Winston Lackin on the issue. Magid says the recognition of a Palestinian state with borders predating the Six-Day War of 1967 is counterproductive to Mideast peace efforts.
Suriname recently joined a number of South American nations in recognizing Palestinian statehood. Others include Brazil and Argentina. Palestinian leaders have been lobbying for the recognition.
Foreign Minister Winston Lackin, in defending Suriname’s recognition, says the decision reflects the opinion of the ruling National Democratic Party that the Palestinian people’s rights should be acknowledged officially. “Our political party has adopted an opinion on this matter years ago. We believe that Suriname, with its multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious blend, should serve as an example to the rest of the world. That in our country a mosque and a synagogue peacefully stand next to each other, without this ever sparking problems, should show that the Palestinian and Jewish people should be able to live with each other in harmony,” the Minister said. He also said that “Suriname took a decision as an independent nation, based on its own beliefs that God is there for everybody, not just for one people.”