BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina has recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, according to a note sent from President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to Mahmoud Abbas.
Kirchner on Monday sent the note to Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, announcing that her government recognizes Palestine as a free and independent state within 1967 borders and according to what the parties determined during the negotiation process.
“The recognition of Palestine as free and independent is part of a tradition of friendship and solidarity with the Palestinian people,” said a statement issued by Argentina’s Foreign Ministry.
The Palestinian Authority opened a diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires in 1996, and Argentina in 2008 established a diplomatic representation in Ramallah, the Foreign Ministry noted. In November 2009, Kirchner received Abbas on a visit to Argentina.
"Argentina ratified the irrevocable position for the right of Israel to be recognized by all and live in peace and security within its borders,” the ministry statement also said.
“Argentina´s decision to recognize the Palestinian state is part of the desire of the authorities to promote the negotiation process leading to the end of the conflict, and is motivated by the deep commitment to the coexistence of all peoples that is the deep conviction of all Argentinean society," the statement concluded.
Brazil last week also recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced in a public letter. The letter recognized what it called the "legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people for a secure, united, democratic and economically viable state coexisting peacefully with Israel."
The American Jewish Committee on Monday called the recognition of an independent Palestinian state by Brazil and Argentina a worrisome and counterproductive development.
"Circumventing the established peace process will only encourage the P.A. to unilaterally declare independence, a move that would undermine the prospect for durable peace that can only emerge as an outcome of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
"If Latin American countries truly want to support Arab-Israeli peace, they should be pressing President Abbas to return to the direct talks that were revived with U.S. assistance three months ago and suspended a few weeks later by Abbas," he said. "Otherwise, however unintentionally, they are only further complicating an already complex situation and, for practical purposes, throwing a diplomatic monkey wrench into the process."