Three more Latin American countries recognize Palestinian state
December 13, 2010 1 Comment
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Three more Latin American countries officially recognized the state of Palestine last week, prompting harsh diplomatic responses from Israel and the United States. The recognitions were announced by the governments of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, which make up the majority of Mercosur, a South American common market area modeled after the European Union. All three nations said they officially recognized a Palestinian state based on internationally established borders prior to the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel illegally occupied the West Bank and Gaza. The official recognitions were immediately endorsed by Riyad al-Maliki, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the West Bank, who said that the PNA expected Paraguay —Mercosur’s fourth member— to follow suit early next year. The new recognitions by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay follow earlier similar moves by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Cuba. Diplomatic observers expect Palestine to soon be officially recognized by the vast majority of Latin American nations, with Colombia, Peru and a handful of Central American states being the few exceptions. The recent recognitions have raised the number of countries that formally recognize the state of Palestine to 104. Most of them are predominantly Muslim, but the current wave of recognitions from Latin America is part of a gradual reversal of that trend. Speaking on behalf of the United States government, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns called the recent recognitions “premature”, while Israel said they were “damaging” and would “shatter the foundation of the peace process”. Meanwhile, the European Union is considering formally recognizing the State of Palestine along the pre-1967 borders, if the current talks between Israel and the Palestinians fail to bring results within one calendar year.