Palestinian FM: Chile, Paraguay to Recognize Palestinian State in Coming Weeks

Uruguay also expected to recognize independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders in March; Ecuador also due to open PA embassy.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that in the coming weeks, Chile and Paraguay will declare their recognition of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

Al-Maliki said that Chile plans on making its declaration in the coming weeks, and that Chile's president Sebastian Pinera is even due to visit the West Bank in three months.

abbas - AP - Sept 27 2010

Paraguay is also expected to declare its recognition of Palestine in the coming weeks. Al-Maliki also announced the opening of a Palestinian embassy in Ecuador, which already declared its recognition of a Palestinian state.

Last week, Ecuador became the fifth Latin American country to recognize a Palestinian state, following its neighboring countries Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay earlier this month.

Uruguay also announced that they planned to join Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia in recognizing a Palestinian state, and al-Maliki said that they would formally do so in March 2011.

Palestinians have been seeking international recognition of a state at a time when talks on a long-term peace settlement with Israel are deadlocked.

Earlier this month, Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina recognized Palestine as an independent state within its borders prior to 1967, in decisions that the United States and Israel slammed as counterproductive and damaging.