Bolivia has recognized Palestine as an independent state, following the lead of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
Bolivian President Evo Morales on Friday said his government would send a letter to Mahmud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, recognizing Palestine as "an independent and sovereign state."
He made the statement during the Mercosur summit.
Speaking at a news conference in Paraguay, Morales said Bolivia would officially notify international institutions of its decision next week.
He said, that genocide was being committed in the region and called on the international community to assume responsibility for preventing it.
With the announcement, Bolivia joined the list of Latin American and South American countries consisting of Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela which have all recognized an independent Palestinian state within its pre-1967 borders.
"Bolivia recognizes Palestine as an independent state along 1967 borders, together with Brazil and Argentina," President Morales said during the Mercosur summit.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the move and thanked the support of Morales. Furthermore, Abbas praised the bilateral relationships.
In early December, Brazil and Argentina recognized Palestine as a free and independent state within its borders prior to the 1967 Six-Day War.
Shortly afterward, Uruguay announced that it would also recognize a Palestinian state in 2011. The declarations were a response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in late November.
After the announcements from the South American countries, Palestinian negotiators urged European countries, for the first time, to also recognize a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Palestinian officials spoke last week with the consuls general of France, Britain, Sweden and Denmark as well as the European Union envoy to the peace process to recognize the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine.
Bolivia severed relations with Israel in January 2009 after its invasion of the Gaza Strip in December 2008, killing up to 1500 Palestinians.
Related news reports:Last Mod: 19 Aralık 2010, 12:35