ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguay’s government said on Friday it had decided to recognize a Palestinian state based on borders before the 1967 war, following similar moves by other South American countries in recent months.
Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Uruguay have recently recognized a Palestinian state along the pre-war borders. Chile and Peru have also given recognition to a Palestinian state, but without specifying borders.
Announcing the decision, Paraguay’s Foreign Ministry said “bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, which are currently at a standstill, are essential for both peace and security.”
Israel disputes the Palestinian claim on the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, areas it captured from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967, and peace negotiations have stalled numerous times over the last few years.
Israel said last month the recognition of a Palestinian state by Latin American countries was “highly damaging interference” by countries that were never part of the Middle East peace process.
U.S. Under Secretary of State William Burns said in a recent visit to Chile that the move by Latin American nations was premature.
Paraguay’s move comes just before a summit between Latin American and Arab countries, which will be held in Lima in February.
Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Writing by James Matthews; Editing by Helen Popper and Jackie Frank