On New Year’s day, Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas laid the cornerstone for a Palestine embassy in Brazil.
The building, which will be erected in a 3.7 acre lot donated by the government of newly elected Dilma Rouseff, will be the first such embassy of the middle eastern nation in the western hemisphere.
In a ceremony held on Friday to mark the beginning of the building’s construction in Brasilia, Abbas thanked Brazil for recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state, and freed several white doves, in a symbolic call for peace.
“We thank Brazil for its support in the construction of a Palestine state. This is a favor we will never forget,” Abbas said.
Incidentally, one of the doves bird perched itself atop Abás’ head, an episode that the leader reportedly considered “a good sign.”
Brazil was the first of several South American countries including Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador who in recent weeks have recognized a Palestinian state along pre-1967 borders. Chile, Mexico, Peru and Nicaragua are said to be considering to follow suit. Bolivia severed diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009 following a vicious attack of the Israelis on Palestinian territory.
Abbas stayed for the swearing-in of Brazilian president-elect Dilma Rousseff on Saturday.