Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed Paraguay's recognition of a free and independent Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.
The Palestinian state-run news agency Wafa quoted Abbas as saying that he appreciates the Latin American country's decision to recognize the Palestinian state, and praised the ties with the Palestinian National Authority.
Paraguayan Foreign Minister, Hector Lacognata, on Friday said that his country recognizes a Palestinian state, free and independent in the 1967 territories.
”With the failure of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the recognition of Palestine within 1967 borders is fundamentally based on international rights as is seen repeatedly in the United Nations resolutions related to the issue,” Lacognata said.
Paraguay is the ninth country in South America that had officially recognized an independent Palestinian State. Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana and Uruguay have recently recognized a Palestinian state within the borders that existed before the 1967 six-day war at which time Israel occupied the rest of Palestine.
Israel “slammed” the wave of recognitions and considered them as “a highly damaging interference”, adding that these countries were never involved in the Middle East peace process.
More than 130 UN member states have recognized the Palestinian right to an independent Palestinian State.
Israel and the United States opposed the Latin American countries' recognition, saying that this contradicts with the signed peace agreements that recognizing a state should go only through bilateral peace talks.
After the direct peace talks failed due to Israel's insistence to continue settlement constructions, the Palestinians said they have other diplomatic options, mainly asking the world to recognize a Palestinian state.
The move comes just before a summit scheduled in February between countries in Latin American and several Arab Countries. The summit will be held in Lima and Peru in February.