SAN SALVADOR - El Salvador on Thursday
recognized Palestine as an independent state in the midst of a
drive by the Arab League to upgrade it to full membership
status in the United Nations.
"This decision was made in the context of the profound
respect El Salvador has for sovereign decisions by members of
the United Nations, the majority of whom have recognized the
Palestinian state," El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes told
a news conference.
Funes, who belongs to the left-wing Farabundo Marti
National Liberation Front, said he hoped his decision would
help foster peace in Israel, adding that he supported the
country's right to maintain secure borders.
About 120 countries have recognized the state of Palestine