'Thailand recognizes Palestinian state'

Bangkok joins over 100 countries in recognizing "Palestine" along pre-67 borders; Abbas officially thanks envoy.

Thai Foreign Minister Tovichakchaikul, Ban-ki Moon 311  (photo credit: REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)
Thai Foreign Minister Tovichakchaikul, Ban-ki Moon 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)
Thailand on Thursday joined a long list of countries that have recognized a Palestinian state along pre-1967 lines. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas subsequently thanked the east Asian country as its envoy to the United Nations officially announced the move.
Bangkok's mission at the UN in New York said in a letter that it "officially recognized the state of Palestine and has initiated the process to establish and formalize diplomatic relations" with it at the earliest opportunity, official PA news agency WAFA reported Thursday.
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PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called the recognition "an achievement for Palestinian diplomacy" and noted it was the first such recognition of 2012, according to WAFA. He said officials in Ramallah would be in contact with Thai diplomats to determine the nature of relations between the two.
Over 100 countries thus far have endorsed the Palestinians’ 1988 unilateral declaration of independent statehood.
Jerusalem and Washington have opposed any recognition of a Palestinian state not based on the outcome of negotiations. The US's major west European allies echo this position. Iceland is outside the EU.
Palestinians have also tried to advance their statehood bid through the United Nations. In late September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asked the international body to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with east Jerusalem as its capital. Last October, the UN's educational and cultural body UNESCO became the first such organization to recognize Palestine as an independent state. The move drew the ire of the United States, which cancelled a planned $60 million transfer to the international organization.
Israel opposes the unilateral approach to statehood adopted by the Palestinians and has argued that statehood should be achieved through a negotiated peace deal.
Reuters contributed to this article.