As Paraguay joined other Latin American countries in recognizing a Palestinian State, other countries in the region are expected to formalize the recognition of Palestine in 2011.

Colombia is the only Latin American country to declare that recognition of a Palestinian State will come only as a result of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, European countries have also started to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic delegation, including Ireland, France, Portugal and Spain. The Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Al-Malki, said that EU-member state Cyprus recognizes a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders; Palestinian Ma'an News agency reports that PA President Mahmoud Abbas received a letter from his Cypriot counterpart Dimitris Christofias informing him of the recognition.

The PA minister also said that Asia, Africa and the Caribbean were next in the trend of recognizing Palestine. "In the Caribbean there are 12 small states ... but these countries have the same vote that China has in the UN General Assembly," Al-Malki said. According to Press TV, the Palestinians appear to have a majority in the General Assembly, but they are unlikely to get the go-ahead in the Security Council.

Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman for domestic media Yossi Levi cautioned not to be "aware of any decision" taken by Cyprus in this direction, which would actually "deviate from the European Union's stated policy, which calls both sides to resolve the conflict by direct negotiations, while avoiding bilateral steps."

Russia, for its part, has reaffirmed the recognition of Palestinian Statehood, saying that will keep the position adopted by the former Soviet Union recognizing the independence for Palestinians in 1988.

The Iranian news outlet, Press TV, reports that Palestinian FM Al-Malki is seeking UN Security Council recognition but, should it fail, "it will turn to the General Assembly, where the decisions are not binding but there is no veto."

Senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said that he has been informed by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, that even some Arab states do not support the draft resolution presented to the Security Council members on the recognition of the Palestinian state.

"I was surprised to hear that Arab states gave up on supporting us in the Security Council after all these efforts," said Shaath. "They argue that the timing is not appropriate for such a move."[1]

From the press:

  • Paraguay backs Palestinian statehood
  • Chile pushes for boycott of products from Israeli settlements
  • Paraguay, loyal to its pacifist nature
  • Guyana: Letter to the editor, recognizing Palestine as a State is an act of folly

January 29, 2011

Paraguay backs Palestinian statehood

Paraguayan Foreign Minister Hector Lacognata said on Friday [January 28] that his government's decision, following similar moves by other South American countries in recent months, is based on resolutions endorsed by the United Nations.

"With the failure of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the recognition of Palestine within 1967 borders is fundamentally based on international rights as is seen repeatedly in the United Nations resolutions related to the issue," Reuters quoted Lacognata as saying. […]

Paraguay's move comes just before a summit between Latin American and Arab countries, […] to be held in Lima and Peru in February. More than 130 UN member states have already recognized the state of Palestine. Press TV (Iran)

January 31, 2011

Chile pushes for boycott of products from Israeli settlements

[...] A 12-member delegation of the Chilean Parliament, visiting the Palestinian Territories, vowed to do what is necessary and fight for preventing their government to sign a free trade exchange treaty with Israel.

Addressing a press conference at the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Chilean delegation said that the 1967 border lines should be the basis for the Chilean recognition of the Palestinian state. Marcelo Diaz, a member of the Chilean Parliament, said that his country in coordination with the other countries, which recognized the Palestinian state, will boycott the products of the Israeli colonies.

Ivan Moreira, a member of the Chilean Parliament, promised the Palestinian people to be their spokesman in Chile and the other international institutions, calling Israel to end its occupation in the Palestinian Territories. "We fully support the Palestinian people and call on the international community to recognize the Palestinian state," he said. "The international community cannot keep silent and give up its responsibilities," he continued, stressing that there cannot be progress, freedom or development under occupation. [...] Gulf News (UAE)

January 28, 2011

Paraguay, loyal to its pacifist nature

Paraguay recognized Palestine as a "free and independent" state Friday [January 28] within the Palestinian territorial borders prior to 1967. "Loyal to its pacifist nature, (Paraguay) has supported the efforts of the international community to cooperate in solving the territorial conflict between Palestine and Israel," the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Paraguay stressed "its conviction that direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and Palestine, which are currently stalled, are crucial to attain peace and security." Paraguay thus joined a host of other South American countries to do the same. QNA (Qatar)

January 15, 2011

Guyana: Letter to the editor, recognizing Palestine as a State is an act of folly

Dear Editor,

[…] The recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state is an act of folly that denies the facts the evidence provides. On occasions, Guyana's foreign policy seems to be defined by an illogical series of whimsical spurts, sometimes spurred on by Brazilian beckoning. However, Guyana's government has no mandate to be in lock-step with Brazil, only to assess the facts and the truth in the interest of the national ethos. […]

Israel should not and indeed surely will not, despite this latest action by Guyana, relinquish another inch of the geographical territory called Palestine. Pandering to insatiable Arab greed is not good politics, only short-sighted in the extreme. The decision by the Government of Guyana therefore flies in the face of reason, and one is again shocked at the lack of national consultation on this important issue. Recognizing 'Palestine' at the expense of Israel's rights may have been expedient politically to a short-sighted few, but was an act of folly that ignored the evidence.

Yours faithfully, Roger Williams

Stabroek (Guyana)

[1] Al Ahram (Egypt), January 19, 2011

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