by al Jazeera
Following Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, Guyana has become the seventh South American nation to recognize an independent Palestinian state, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.
In a statement by the country’s Foreign Ministry, Guyana’s said it hoped “that the increasing recognition of the state of Palestine will contribute to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of lasting peace and stability in the region.”
The decision to recognize a Palestinian state, the statement added, was “in keeping with Guyana’s long-standing and unwavering solidarity with, and commitment to, the just and legitimate aspirations of the people of Palestine for the exercise of their right to self-determination and to achieve a homeland of their own, independent, free, prosperous and at peace.”
Last week, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced that he officially recognizes an independent Palestinian state, following the official recognition of Palestine by other Latin American countries.
Speaking a La Moneda Palace in Santiago, Pinera said the leaders of the 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.