News Analysis: South American recognition for Palestinian state mostly symbolic

08:40, December 08, 2010      

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by Adam Gonn

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Tuesday that Argentinean president's Monday letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is "highly regrettable," adding "they are in fact shattering the foundation of the peace process," said the Israeli media.

In the letter, Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said her country plans to recognize "Palestine as a free and independent state within the borders that existed in 1967."

The letter, as well as those sent by Brazil and Uruguay a few days ago, are not the first international recognition of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders prior the so- called Six Day War when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

In 1988 the Palestinian Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), then led by Yasser Arafat and now under Abbas. More than 100 countries then recognize an independent Palestinian state despite the fact that it only existed de jure.

The Argentinean letter did not call for the Palestinians to abandon peace talks with Israel, which are currently on hold, and stated that it would accept any change the parties agree on in negotiations.

Israeli and Palestinian analysts told Xinhua on Tuesday that the move was mostly symbolic and would have little practical effect on either Israeli or Palestinian policy.

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