US says recognition of Palestinian state premature 11Dec10 December 12, 2010

Haaretz -  11 December 2010

Brazil and Argentina’s recognition of a Palestinian state is premature, U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns said during a visit to Chile on Friday.

Argentina’s government said on Monday it had decided to recognize a Palestinian state based on borders before the 1967 war, following a similar move days earlier by neighboring Brazil. Uruguay also voiced recognition.

“We believe such recognition is premature,” Burns told reporters in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

“It’s only through negotiation between the parties themselves, Palestinians and Israelis, that we’ll be able to realize the two-state solution.”

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who was due to meet with Burns on Saturday, criticized his remarks.

“I think it’s unpropitious that once again the United States has publicly expressed an opinion about sovereign actions taken by the Argentine Republic,” Timerman told Reuters.

Israel this week called the Latin American countries’ recognition of a Palestinian state “highly damaging interference” by countries that were never part of the Middle East peace process.

Israel disputes the Palestinian claim on all the West Bank and East Jerusalem, land it captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and has since extensively settled.

U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations dating back two decades are predicated on a Palestinian state being delineated with Israel’s consent.

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