Peru and Guyana are the latest Latin American countries to recognize Palestine as a sovereign State. The Peru's recognition comes amid the preparation of the South American Arab Summit, which will be held in February; Guyana's recognition represents, instead, a continuation of the long-standing and unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian leadership. Guyana is a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and – after its independence – has aligned in the past with Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Since early December, when Brazil took the initiative of recognizing a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders and inaugurating a Palestinian Embassy, other Latin American countries have followed in Brazil's steps. Some Latin American countries, however, recognized Palestine as a State before the Brazilian initiative. Below is a list of the Latin American countries recognizing the State of Palestine:

  • Costa Rica opened official ties with the "State of Palestine" in 2008
  • Venezuela announced the recognition in 2009
  • Cuba previously made symbolic recognition of Palestine
  • Nicaragua previously made symbolic recognition of Palestine
  • Argentina announced the recognition on December 2010
  • Bolivia announced the recognition on December 2010
  • Ecuador announced the recognition on December 2010
  • Chile announced the recognition on January 2011
  • Peru announced the recognition on January 2011
  • Guyana announced the recognition on January 2011
  • Uruguay is to recognize a Palestinian State on March 2011
  • Paraguay expected to recognize a Palestinian State on March 2011
  • Mexico expected to recognize Palestine as a State in 2011
  • Suriname expected to recognize Palestine as a State in 2011

From the press:

  • Peru recognizes Palestine state, prepares for South American-Arab Summit
  • Peru recognizes "free and sovereign" Palestine
  • Peru did not say which borders of Palestine recognizes
  • Central Islamic Organization of Guyana praises government's decision to recognize Palestine
  • Guyana recognizes Palestinian state
  • Guyana a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
  • Guyana a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference
  • Suriname will soon recognize the Palestinian state

January 25, 2011

Peru recognizes Palestine state, prepares for South American-Arab Summit

Peru has officially recognized Palestine as an "independent and sovereign state," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. "During more than six decades, Peru has recognized the right of the Palestinian people to build an independent state," the statement said. "In keeping with its traditional and constant policy in favor of a peaceful solution to the conflict, Peru reaffirms its respect and full support for the Middle East peace process and ratifies its support for negotiations, aimed at creating the coexistence of two States: Israel and Palestine."

Peru said it also recognized Israel's right to live in peace with its neighbors, to have safe borders and freedom from threats to its citizens. The statement comes as Peru prepares to host the 3rd Summit of South American – Arab Countries (ASPA) from February 12-16.

Eighteen heads of state have confirmed their participation in the conference, including Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian National Authority, state news agency Andina reported.

Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said he expects the summit to showcase Peru's potential for Arab investors: "The Arabs are big investors, but South America hasn't been one of their destinations and Peru for its growth rates, political and economic stability, offers an important opportunity."

Peruvian Times (Peru)

January 25, 2011

Peru recognizes "free and sovereign" Palestine

Peru recognized a "free and sovereign" Palestinian state Monday [January 24, 2011], joining a wave of Latin American countries. "Today the government communicated to the ambassador of Palestine in Lima recognition of the Palestinian state as free and sovereign," said Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Belaunde.

The Peruvian foreign minister contacted the Palestinian ambassador to Peru, Walid Abdul-Rahim, to inform him that his country decided to recognize a Palestinian state. […] Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki applauded Peru's recognition. "This is the eighth recognition of its kind in Latin America. It adds to the success of Palestinian diplomatic efforts aimed at getting as many countries as possible in the world to recognize Palestinian state. This recognition is a direct reaction to all attempts by the Israeli government to stop countries of the world from recognizing the Palestinian right to establish independent state," he said in a statement.

An Israeli official earlier this month dismissed recognition of a Palestinian state by the Latin American nations as "a useless and empty gesture because it will not change anything." But with peace talks stalled, the Palestinians have said they are considering new diplomatic options and have welcomed the recognition.

Peru did not say which borders of Palestine it recognizes

Belaunde did not say what borders Peru are recognized, only that details of the decision would come later. "Peru since 1947 has maintained in the United Nations that there should exist a state of Israel, with secure borders, and a Palestinian state," he said. "That has been the position that Peru has permanently maintained." Belaunde also stressed that Monday's announcement was not the result of "pressure from either side". […] Ma'an (Palestinian News Agency)

January 22, 2011

Central Islamic Organization of Guyana praises government's decision to recognize Palestine

The Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG) wishes to express its full support for the President and Government of Guyana on the decision to recognize Palestine as an Independent State in the Middle East. Guyana has now joined a list of South American Nations that have recognized Palestine as a state.

The CIOG, in a statement, noted that with Guyana's international stature and its recognized place on the international stage, and [Guyana] President Jagdeo as Chairman of UNASUR, it is most fitting that Guyana has taken a positive step in recognizing the State of Palestine.

CIOG said it is pleased with the "positive and dynamic leadership of our President in Guyana's relationship with the countries in the Middle East and would like our government to continue to work to secure the rights of the Palestinian people".

Guyana Chronicle (Guyana)

January 14, 2011

Guyana recognizes Palestinian state

Guyana has joined a Latin American campaign of recognizing Palestine as an independent state, showing its commitment to Palestinians, says the country's Foreign Ministry. "It is Guyana's hope that the increasing recognition of the state of Palestine will contribute to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of lasting peace and stability in the region," the ministry said in a statement […].

The decision "is in keeping with Guyana's long-standing and unwavering solidarity with, and commitment to, the just and legitimate aspirations of the people of Palestine for the exercise of their right to self-determination and to achieve a homeland of their own, independent, free, prosperous and at peace," the statement said. […]

The PA said it would initially seek statehood recognition at the UN Security Council, but should it fail, it will turn to the General Assembly, where decisions are not binding but there is no veto. Press TV (Iran)

January 14, 2011

Guyana a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Guyana has declared official recognition of a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders. In a news release, the Foreign Ministry said, "It is Guyana's hope that the increasing recognition of the state of Palestine will contribute to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of lasting peace and stability in the region."

Guyana since 1975 has been a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and in the 1970s severed diplomat ties with Israel.

The Foreign Ministry said, "This decision is in keeping with Guyana's long-standing and unwavering solidarity with, and commitment to, the just and legitimate aspirations of the people of Palestine for the exercise of their right to self-determination and to achieve a homeland of their own, independent, free, prosperous and at peace."

Guyana a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference

Guyana, which is today a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), has had strong ties with the Arab Islamic world dating back to the 1970s, after independence from Britain in 1966. Guyana aligned itself with Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Palestine and Syria.

In 1973, former president of Guyana, Forbes Burnham, travelled together with Fidel Castro and Norman Manley to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Algeria. After the summit, Burnham visited Egypt, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Nigeria.

In June 1985, Guyana enmeshed itself deeper into the Palestinian quagmire, when it hosted the 11th United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine under the leadership of former foreign minister, Rashleigh Jackson. Jackson stated that it is "the overall coordination of the strategies of the supporters of the Palestinian cause all over the world."

Prior to that, in January 1976, Jackson, during a Security Council debate on the Arab Israeli conflict, suggested that UN Resolutions 242 and 338 should be updated to take into account the rights of the Palestinians and that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) should be fully involved in the process of securing peace.

Suriname, another South American country and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member, is expected to recognize Palestine within the coming days. Suriname is also a member of the OIC. Caribbean News Now

January 13, 2011

Suriname will soon recognize the Palestinian state

Suriname will soon recognize the Palestinian state. Palestinian Authority Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki told this to the Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat earlier this week. […] Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Lackin stated that Suriname is not against the establishment of an Independent Palestinian state. […]

Stabroek News (Guyana)

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