Summit of South American-Arab Countries to Debate Recognition of Palestinian State

Sunday, 09 January 2011 15:24 Tania Kepler for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)


The Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA) meeting in Lima, Peru in February, will debate a proposal “to issue a final declaration recognizing a sovereign and independent Palestinian state in borders preceding 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian state’s capital.”


Walid Muaqqat, Palestinian ambassador to Argentina, told the Miami Herald that this proposal would be discussed at the ASPA, a mechanism for bi-regional cooperation and a forum for political coordination between South American and Arab countries.

Organizers say the February summit will be attended by nine South American leaders, including Brazil’s new President Dilma Rousseff, and 11 Arab heads of state.

This follows the 7 January announcement by Chile which formally recognized the Palestinian state.

“The government of Chile has adopted the resolution today recognising the existence of the state of Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state,” Alfredo Moreno, the Chilean foreign minister, said on Friday.

“Chile has permanently and consistently supported the right of the Palestinian people to constitute themselves as an independent state, in peaceful coexistence with the state of Israel,” Moreno said.

Chile has a community of more than 300,000 Palestinian immigrants and their descendants, the largest outside the Arab world.

Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador recognized Palestine, within its borders prior to Israel’s 1967 invasion, during December 2010, and Uruguay and Paraguay are expected to join them in the coming weeks. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Costa Rica also recognize the Palestinian state.

“South American countries are acting every day with greater coordination,” Eugenio Tuma, a senator in Chile who pushed for the measure said Friday. “We are demonstrating that South America can play, together, a role in the great global issues affecting humanity.”

“If Chile and Mexico follow Argentina and Brazil, it will prompt all the other Latin American countries to join, because they don’t want to stay on the sidelines,” an Israeli diplomat was quoted as saying two weeks ago.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas called the Chilean president a number of weeks ago and asked him formally recognize the Palestinian state.

Summit of South American-Arab Countries to Debate Recognition of Palestinian State.

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