SANTIAGO: President Gabriel Boric of Chile, whose country has the largest Palestinian population outside of the Middle East, said Wednesday that he planned to open an embassy “in Palestine”.
The announcement by the leftist president, who began his four-year term in March 2022, came at a Christmas ceremony for Chile’s Palestinian community, estimated to be more than 300,000 strong.
“One of the decisions we have taken as a government, I think we have not yet made it public… is that we will raise the level of our official representation in Palestine,” Boric said. “We will open an embassy under our government.”
Chile in 1998 opened a representative office to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and in 2011 recognized Palestine as a state and supported its entrance to UNESCO.
Palestinians began immigrating to Chile in large numbers during the 20th century, when the area was still part of the Ottoman Empire.
The large community is prominent in Chile’s textile industry and also involved in the country’s politics.