|Chinese residents examine dead birds (China Express)|
Brazil is the first country in the Western hemisphere to host a Palestinian embassy. On Friday night, Abbas laid the symbolic foundation stone of the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia, Brazil's capital.
|Abbas in front of the new Palestinian embassy in Brasilia (Press TV)|
|Adriano Machado / AFP - Getty Image|
The ceremony comes after former President Lula of Brazil officially acknowledged Palestinian sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, controlled by Jordan before 1967 and by Israel since then. Since the announcement in early December, several other South American countries have followed suit, including Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, and, most recently, Chile. In the words of Brazil's foreign ministry: "The demand presented by his excellency (Abbas) is just and consistent with the principles upheld by Brazil with regard to the Palestinian issue," Brazil's foreign ministry said.
|Abbas, Lula and Brazilian FM meeting in Brasilia on Friday |
(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
During his visit, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas also participated in the inauguration of new Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, along with South American leaders and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. According to the Chilean daily La Tecera (via La Plaza), Abbas attended the inauguration in Brasilia to "thank the presidents" that have recognized the Palestinian state. While in Brazil, Abbas met with Chilean President to discuss Abbas' request from Chile to join other South American countries.
|Rousseff and Clinton (AP/Richard Moraes)|