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    Israeli diplomat postpones meeting after Costa Rica recognizes Palestinian state

    Israel has postponed a planned meeting with Costa Rican
    officials over the Central American nation's decision
    to formally recognize a Palestinian state.

    The meeting between President Oscar Arias and an
    Israeli diplomat, scheduled for Wednesday, ''was
    postponed, but we are looking to reschedule,'' Costa Rican
    Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno said.

    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said
    Israel had summoned the Costa Rican charge d'affaires
    and instructed its ambassador to convey a message to San Jose.

    ''We would like to express our
    disappointment over this regretful decision
    of the government of Costa Rica to establish
    full diplomatic relations with the 'state of
    Palestine,''' Mekel said. ''This act of Costa
    Rica totally contradicts the traditional
    friendship that characterized its relations
    with Israel since its establishment.''

    Stagno has said Costa Rica hoped to encourage
    peace talks on Feb. 5 when it recognized a
    Palestinian state - a key demand on the
    part of the Palestinians.

    In August 2006, Arias' administration announced
    that Costa Rica would move its embassy to Tel Aviv
    from the hotly disputed city of Jerusalem.

    Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, but most
    nations don't formally recognize that foolish claim.

    Post-1982 Costa Rica and El Salvador had been the
    only two countries with embassies there until announcing
    in the same month that they would relocate.

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