BRASILIA: Brazil has put into effect a free trade agreement with the Palestinian Authority that has been waiting for ratification for more than 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 said on Monday in a statement.

It said Brazil, which recognises 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.

Uruguay has backed the Palestine deal, a foreign ministry source said, adding that there was little resistance since Mercosur has a similar agreement with Israel.

It was not clear whether other Mercosur members would follow Brazil’s lead. Argentina’s right-wing government of President Javier Milei is not expected to do so. Paraguay’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Palestinian ambassador in Brasilia, Ibrahim Al Zeben, called Brazil’s decision “courageous, supportive and timely.” It is “the effective way to support peace in Palestine,” he said in a message, adding that he hopes Palestine trade with Mercosur, currently only $32 million a year, will grow.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...
Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...