PA praises S. Americans' recognition of Palestinian state

Official tells 'Post' that several other countries, including Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay willing to recognize state on 1967 borders.

viva palestina welcomed_311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
viva palestina welcomed_311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah on Tuesday expressed deep satisfaction with the decision by Argentina and Brazil to recognize an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, and said other countries were expected to follow suit.
The officials hailed the decision as a “diplomatic victory” for the Palestinians. They also voiced disappointment with the US for failing to force Israel to halt construction in settlements and in east Jerusalem neighborhoods.
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A source in the PA’s Foreign Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that several additional countries, including Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay, had indicated their willingness to recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who visited Turkey earlier this week, asked Turkish leaders to help the Palestinians win recognition by more countries for an independent Palestinian state on all land captured by Israel in 1967. Abbas was hoping that Turkey would be able to convince some European nations and Canada to comply with his request.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the decisions by Brazil and Argentina should not be seen as a unilateral step. He explained that such recognition was not new, noting that the Palestinians had already declared the establishment of a state in 1988. Some 104 countries have since recognized that declaration, he added.
Another Palestinian negotiator, Nabil Sha’ath, said the Brazilian and Argentinean moves would put pressure on Israel.
“No one is saying that it would end the occupation immediately,” Sha’ath said. “But it gives us a push forward and will attract other countries to take a similar decision.”
Sha’ath added that the US would find it difficult to veto a UN resolution recognizing a Palestinian state once a large number of countries accede to the Palestinian request. He, too, expected other countries to follow suit in the next few days.
“The decision by Brazil and Argentina is a major political achievement for the Palestinians,” said Hana Amireh, a member of the PLO Executive Committee. “This position reaffirms that the Palestinians won’t accept anything less than a sovereign state on all the territories that were occupied in 1967, including east Jerusalem.”
Amireh said the decision also reflected “international solidarity with the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and puts an end to Israel’s refusal to accept this right.”
He added that the announcements by Argentina and Brazil encouraged the PA leadership to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by other countries and the UN Security Council “in light of the failure of the peace talks with Israel.” He also said the Palestinians had launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at persuading European countries to follow suit.
Bassam Salhi, secretary-general of the Palestinian Peoples’ Party, said Palestinians welcomed the moves by Brazil and Argentina, which, he added, were the result of huge efforts made by Abbas in recent months.

Salhi said it would be a mistake to expect that a Palestinian state would be established only through negotiations with Israel.
“The recognition is the result of the failure of the peace negotiations,” he remarked. “This recognition means that the world should now be involved in the process.”
Salhi further said that several other countries would soon recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.