Chilean President Sebastián Pinera
Joint recognition? Abbas in Brazil
Chile joined several other South American countries on Friday when it officially recognized a Palestine as an independent state.
The latest declaration signaled a painful blow to the Foreign Ministry, which considered Chile as a key player in the struggle to prevent the international wave of recognition.
"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.
Next week, Peru will host the Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA), a bi-regional convention established by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2005, in which the 22 member-States of the League of Arab States and the 12 countries of South America gather to discuss political and economic cooperation.
Officials in Jerusalem have expressed concern that the "domino effect" will reach its peak at the summit, during which the South American countries are expected to draft a joint document declaring their recognition of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders.
No mention of borders
Following Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno on Friday said his country also recognizes Palestine as an independent state.
"The government of Chile has adopted the resolution today recognizing the existence of the state of Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state," he said, reading a foreign ministry declaration.
However, the Chilean statement did not mention the borders of the Palestinian state, which its South American neighbors said were "within the 1967 borders."
AFP contributed to this report
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