Since early December, when Brazil took the initiative of recognizing a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, other Latin American countries have followed in Brazil's steps: Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and most recently Chile. Ecuador and Uruguay have said they will open Palestinian embassies this spring.

Brazil became also the first country in the Americas to host a Palestinian Embassy on December 31, 2010, when Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas laid the first stone of what it will be the future embassy in Brasilia. However, the politically-motivated gesture of former Brazilian President Lula da Silva toward the Palestinians seems not to have had an equivalent when it came time to give real humanitarian aid towards the Palestinian people. According to an Iranian news agency, Ahlul Bayt:

"Hundreds of Palestinian refugees forced out of their homes in war-torn Iraq and settled eventually in Brazil have complained of the miserable conditions they and their families are experiencing because no one is taking care of them."

In an appeal they sent to international human rights institutions, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], the refugees asserted that they have not tasted the meaning of living since they arrived in Brazil two years ago, adding that many of them suffer from chronic diseases but that no adequate medical attention was given to them. […] The refugees confirmed they could not manage their own affairs: poor economic condition and inadequate job opportunities in Brazil have made them unable to find job and live independently.

As far as the inauguration of the Palestinian embassy in Brazil is concerned, the Iranian news agency asserts that "the refugees underscored that officials of the embassy did not even bother themselves to pay a visit to the refugees despite the persistent appeals they are sending to them to look into their situation". Hence, the recognition of a Palestinian State by Lula da Silva does not seem motivated by caring about the Palestinian people, but maybe more by the old lefty anti-Israeli sentiment.

From the press:

  • Chile recognizes Palestinian state
  • Uruguay to recognize Palestine in March 2011
  • Palestinian FM on Chile's recognition of Palestine
  • Ecuador to open Palestinian Embassy
  • European countries to upgrade diplomatic Palestinian representation offices
  • After Argentina's recognition of Palestine, Abbas supports Buenos Aires in island dispute
  • Palestine opens embassy in Brasilia
  • Photos of the Palestinian embassy's inauguration in Brasilia

January 7, 2011

Chile recognizes Palestinian state

On Friday [January 7], [Chile's] Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno announced that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's government has officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders.

"The government of Chile has adopted the resolution today [Friday, January 7] recognizing the existence of the state of Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state," he said, reading a Foreign Ministry declaration.

He added that President Pinera plans to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories on March 4 and 5. […]

Uruguay to recognize Palestine in March 2011

In December 2010, Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia recognized Palestine as an independent state. […] Last month, Uruguay announced that it would recognize Palestine in March 2011.

On December 31, Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas said that the recognition of the Palestinian state by several Latin American nations would force the US and Israel to return to negotiations. […] Press TV (Iran)

January 7, 2011

Palestinian FM on Chile's recognition of Palestine

Riyadh Al-Maliki, the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, told the Voice of Palestine Radio that [Chilean President] Pinera announced late Thursday [January 6] that the leaders of country's political parties "recognize the state of Palestine."

Al-Maliki said the announcement came two days after the Chilean senate passed a resolution calling on Pinera to recognize Palestine.

The minister added that the recognition came after a request by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his meeting with Pinera in Brazil early last week. […] Al-Maliki said that Pinera is due to visit the West Bank in three months.

Ecuador to open Palestinian Embassy

He also announced the opening of a Palestinian embassy in Ecuador, which already declared its recognition of a Palestinian state. Uruguay also announced that it planned to join Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia in recognizing a Palestinian state, and Al-Maliki said that the country would formally do it in March 2011. […]

European countries to upgrade diplomatic Palestinian representation offices

The Palestinian foreign minister said that European countries are expected to upgrade the level of diplomatic Palestinian representation offices, but not to the level of embassies. "The level of representation will be developed to a diplomatic mission and the head of the mission will be called ambassador, similar to recent steps by Spain and France," Al-Maliki added.

According to the minister, Britain promised the PA to study steps and procedures to boost the status of the Palestinian representation office in London. The EU said in December that it will recognize the Palestinian state "when appropriate." The United States said that the Palestinian state should be a result of a negotiated solution with Israel.

Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

January 3, 2011

After Argentina's recognition of Palestine, Abbas supports Buenos Aires in island dispute

The Argentine Foreign Affairs Minister on Sunday [January 2] thanked President Mahmoud Abbas for his support in the country's dispute over the Malvinas Islands, occupied by British forces in 1833.

Marking the 178th anniversary of the islands' occupation on Monday, the Argentinean representative to the Palestinian Authority pointed to similarities between the Malvinas Islands and Palestine. Both countries were under unfair and anachronistic occupation, the Ramallah-based office said, and both cases revealed double standards in the implementation of UN resolutions. Further, foreign powers were exploiting the resources of both territories, the representative office said. […] Ma'an (Palestinian news agency)

January 1, 2011

Palestine opens embassy in Brasilia

The Palestinian embassy's inauguration in Brasilia. (Source: Agencia Brasil)

Brazil was among the first and most important Latin American countries to recognize a sovereign Palestinian state. A number of other Latin American countries have also recognized Palestine as a state, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. […]

Abbas, who is in Brazil to attend the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Dilma Rousseff on January 1, 2011, laid the cornerstone of the new Palestinian Embassy on Friday [December 31, 2010] on land donated by the Brazilian government in the same district as other diplomatic missions.

Doves were released during the ceremony to represent peace. Following the ceremony, Abbas met outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and thanked him for the country's recognition of Palestinian statehood. […] Press TV (Iran)

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