Brazil adopts free trade with Palestinian Authority in show of support

Brazil has put into effect a free trade agreement with the Palestinian Authority that has been waiting for ratification for more than a decade, in a show of support for the Palestinian people.

“The agreement is a concrete contribution to an economically viable Palestinian state, which can live peacefully and harmoniously with its neighbors,” Brazil’s foreign ministry says in a statement.

It says Brazil, which recognizes a Palestinian state and allowed a Palestinian embassy to be built in the Brazilian capital in 2010, ratified the agreement on Friday between the Mercosur trade bloc of South America and the Palestinian Authority that had been signed in 2011.

It is not clear whether other Mercosur members would follow suit. Argentina’s right-wing government of President Javier Milei is not expected to do so.

The foreign ministries of Uruguay and Paraguay did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Palestinian ambassador in Brasilia, Ibrahim Al Zeben, calls Brazil’s decision “courageous, supportive and timely.”

It is “the effective way to support peace in Palestine,” he says in a message to Reuters, adding that he hopes Palestinian trade with Mercosur, currently only $32 million a year, will grow.

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