Local October 8, 2011 | 9:29 am

Palestinian president seeks support for UN bid in Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.– Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas started a Latin America tour in the Dominican Republic on Friday to harness support for his government’s bid to win a place at the United Nations.

Abbas met with President Leonel Fernandez and was also to address the Dominican Congress over the quest for statehood, which he formally presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 23.

"We don’t hesitate to recognize the legitimate right of Palestine to be recognized as a free, independent and sovereign State," Fernandez said, underlining that his country also had "excellent diplomatic, commercial and cultural relations with Israel."

"You’re not big militarily but you’re big in faith, peace and solidarity with the Palestinian people," Abbas pointed out.

The Palestinian president is also due to travel to El Salvador and Colombia, where President Juan Manuel Santos has already pledged to abstain in any UN Security Council vote.

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