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Costa Rica expresses outrage to Israeli ambassador over Gaza violence

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González met with Israeli Ambassador Avraham Haddad at the Casa Amarilla Wednesday afternoon to express outrage at ongoing violence in Gaza and its devastating toll on civilians. He urged the Israeli diplomat to push for an immediate ceasefire. The Foreign Ministry also said its ambassador to Israel would briefly return to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s top diplomat expressed the country’s desire for an immediate ceasefire in the 24-day conflict that has claimed over 1,300 Palestinian lives – most of them civilians – and more than 50 Israelis. The ministry also condemned the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas.

President Luis Guillermo Solís joined United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday morning in urging an end to the violence and offered Costa Rica’s support to any international effort to curb the conflict as it enters its fourth week.

González said Wednesday that Costa Rica has not ruled out any options to express its disapproval and concern over the violence in Gaza.

The Foreign Ministry released a statement Wednesday evening reporting that Costa Rica’s ambassador to Israel in Tel Aviv, Rodrigo Carreras, would return to San José. The ministry stressed that Carreras’ trip to Costa Rica was not for consultation because of the conflict. His time in the country would be for personal reasons, the statement added. Several other Latin American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Peru and El Salvador, have withdrawn their ambassadors for consultation because of the crisis. Carrera will stay in Costa Rica until Aug. 14 on vacation, according to the statement.

The diplomats also reportedly discussed Israel’s decision to push back Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s visit to Costa Rica, which was originally scheduled for July. The ministry said that the decision to change the date happened before the recent outbreak of violence in Gaza.

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