Friday, February 29

Israeli diplomat postpones meeting after Costa Rica recognizes Palestinian state

Israel has postponed a planned meeting with Costa Rican
officials over the Central American nation's decision
to formally recognize a Palestinian state.

The meeting between President Oscar Arias and an
Israeli diplomat, scheduled for Wednesday, ''was
postponed, but we are looking to reschedule,'' Costa Rican
Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno said.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said
Israel had summoned the Costa Rican charge d'affaires
and instructed its ambassador to convey a message to San Jose.

''We would like to express our
disappointment over this regretful decision
of the government of Costa Rica to establish
full diplomatic relations with the 'state of
Palestine,''' Mekel said. ''This act of Costa
Rica totally contradicts the traditional
friendship that characterized its relations
with Israel since its establishment.''

Stagno has said Costa Rica hoped to encourage
peace talks on Feb. 5 when it recognized a
Palestinian state - a key demand on the
part of the Palestinians.

In August 2006, Arias' administration announced
that Costa Rica would move its embassy to Tel Aviv
from the hotly disputed city of Jerusalem.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, but most
nations don't formally recognize that foolish claim.

Post-1982 Costa Rica and El Salvador had been the
only two countries with embassies there until announcing
in the same month that they would relocate.

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