Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil recognize Palestinian state

Argentina and Uruguay this week joined Brazil in recognizing a “free and independent” Palestinian state.

Brazil made its announcement last week and its action was sharply criticized by U.S. lawmakers as “severely misguided” and “regrettable.”

According to the AFP news service, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner last week wrote to her Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, saying her country also recognizes a Palestine defined by 1967 borders, officials said.

On Dec. 6, Uruguay made a similar statement. The step is part of efforts to reignite peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, officials said.

U.S. lawmakers have called Brazil’s decision “severely misguided” and “regrettable.” Western countries have agreed that any definition of a Palestinian state required Israeli approval.

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the announcement, whereas Israel’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over a wave of support for a Palestinian unilateral move and started working to prevent the trend from spreading. — j. wire reports