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Brazil adopts free trade with Palestinian Authority in show of support

After more than a decade of waiting, Brazil has implemented a long-awaited free trade agreement with the Palestinian Authority, demonstrating strong support for the Palestinian community.

Reuters WORLD
Published July 09,2024

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 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.

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 to Reuters, adding that he hopes Palestine trade with Mercosur, currently only $32 million a year, will grow.