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Venezuelan president pledges full support for Palestinian statehood

09-21-2011 11:26 BJT

CARACAS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Tuesday sent a letter to the UN chief, expressing his full support for the controversial Palestinian bid for UN membership.

In the letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Chavez said the Venezuelan government recommends the Palestinian state be recognized as a state with absolute rights within the leading world forum.

"This is a historic act of justice with a people who have always carried the entire pain and suffering of the world," Chavez said in the letter dated Sept. 17 and released to local media Tuesday.

He said the State of Palestine has the right "to become a free, sovereign and independent country."

Venezuela's support comes as government leaders from across the world are preparing to vote on the controversial issue of Palestinian statehood at the UN General Assembly later this week.

In order for their membership bid to pass, Palestinians need to win votes of nine of the 15 UN Security Council members.

The Palestinian move has angered Israel and its major ally, the United States, one of the five permanent members of the council. The United States said it will block any Palestinian bid.

"The solution to the Middle East conflict must include the necessary step of making justice for the Palestinian people; this is the only way to achieve peace," Chavez said in the letter.

He said the Venezuelan government supports recognition of a Palestinian state according to the borders established prior to the illegal 1967 occupation of additional territories by Israel, and with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital city.

As he is still undergoing strict medical treatment for cancer at home, Chavez will not attend the UN General Assembly this year, where Palestinian leaders are pushing for the Palestinian state to be formally recognized as the 194th member country of the United Nations.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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