PANAMA is looking at ways to recognize the Palestine State without affecting their "close relationship" with Israel, the Vice President and Foreign Minister , Isabel De Saint Malo de Alvarado said on Saturday July 4 while Americans around the world were celebrating their Independence Day.
With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reacting strongly to bigger countries that have already made the move, Panama will have to perform a difficult juggling trick or sleight of hand, according to political observers
"Panama, consistent with the policy of promoting dialogue and to respect the aspirations of the people (...) must recognize the legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people to be a state", said the Vice President in a meeting with the foreign press accredited to the country.
Saint Malo de Alvarado explained that the government is discussing how it can recognize the Palestinian aspiration.
She said options include directly recognizing the Palestinian state or allowing the opening of offices with diplomatic status.
The vice president stressed the need for dialogue between the Palestinians and Israelis in order to "achieve the possibility to coexist peacefully."
She said that Panama has a close and historic relationship with Israel, and that no action towards Palestinian recognition should affect those ties.
"Our relationship with Israel is very important and we want to ensure that whatever step that we take, it does not represent in any way a change our relationship with Israel.
“Israel is a friendly country and so we will keep it so" she said.
President Varela said Wednesday, during his report to Parliament after his first year in office, that his administration is evaluating the possibility of recognizing the Palestinian state.
"Being consistent with the principles that govern our foreign policy and the vision of our government, we are evaluating the possibility of recognizing the aspirations of the Palestinian nation to belong the United Nations (UN)," Varela told deputies.