Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced late Thursday that he officially recognizes an independent Palestinian state, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday.
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Pinera's announcement is preceded by official recognition of Palestine by other Latin American countries, including Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.
Speaking a La Moneda Palace in Santiago, Pinera said the leaders of country's political parties "recognize the state of Palestine."
A resolution calling on Pinera to recognize Palestine as an independent state was passed by the Chilean Senate two days earlier, Xinhua reported.
Last week, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that President Pinera is due to visit the West Bank in three months. He also announced the opening of a Palestinian embassy in Ecuador, which already declared its recognition of a Palestinian state.
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.